James Anderson is relishing the prospect of an extended run in a Lancashire shirt this summer.

Burnley’s England star is warming up for the Red Rose’s Specsavers County Championship opener at Middlesex next Thursday with a three-day friendly at Loughborough MCC Universities which starts today.

The game at Lord’s is the first of what he expects to be around seven Division Two appearances ahead of the Ashes in August and September.

He also looks likely to play a bit-part in the county’s Royal London one-day Cup campaign later this month and next.

“It’s exciting to have a bit of a stint here and give a bit back,” he said.

“I owe a lot to Lancashire for what they’ve helped me with over the years, how they’ve helped me get to where I am.

“So it will be nice to have a good stint and hopefully get us off to a good start in the Championship.

“Promotion is all it’s about this year. It’s not going to be easy because there’s some strong teams in this division.

“So we need to get off to a good start and show some consistency.

“I say, ‘it’s all about promotion’, but the other two competitions are very important. But be consistent throughout and I think we’ll be ok.”

Coach Glen Chapple is expected to field a strong side at Loughborough for a fixture which doesn’t have first-class status, although he is having to contend with some injury issues in his seam bowling department.

That is why Anderson is expecting to feature in some 50-over cricket in a few weeks’ time.

“I wasn’t planning on it, but currently the two oldest bowlers (Anderson and Graham Onions) are the only fit ones!” he said.

“I might have to play the odd 50-over game.

“At the minute, I might play two or three out of the eight.

“Essentially, I have to keep bowling anyway to keep ticking over throughout that period.

“I don’t mind playing the odd one, but I’m not trying to resurrect my 50-over career to get into the World Cup squad or anything like that.

“It has been a while but I love playing white-ball cricket.

“You get to try different skills and for me it’s a chance to experiment and keep your fingers crossed you don’t get smacked out of the ground.”

While Anderson has a reasonable idea how his preparations for the Ashes will go, he admits there is no definite plan.

“It’s quite hard to map it out because you never know what’s going to happen with the weather or you might have the odd game that only goes two days,” he said.

“I think we’ll just manage it as and when games come along.

“But the idea is to play around seven of the 10 Championship games.

“But I don’t know which ones.”

Lancashire’s injury problems, with Tom Bailey and Richard Gleeson among those carrying niggles, have forced Chapple to sign Mark Footitt on a month’s loan from Nottinghamshire.

He goes straight into contention for Loughborough.