Ian Salisbury has backed the decision to ease Jofra Archer gently back to full speed.

The England pace bowler will be with Sussex 2nd XI while the first team return to action today.

Travis Head makes his debut for the county and Ollie Robinson returns as Sussex visit Northants in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

George Garton is rested this time as Sussex continue to rotate their seam bowlers.

Archer could play when Kent visit Hove next week.

Yesterday he was out in the middle at a windswept 1st Central County Ground.

He wore a woolly hat while fielding at slip and bowled with the new ball as he eased his way back after a hand injury.

Archer finished a rain-interrupted day with 0-32 from 11 overs.

Will Sheffield took two wickets and former Sussex batsman Laurie Evans scored 46 as Surrey 2nd XI reached 215-3 replying to their hosts’ first innings total of 487.

Sussex coach Salisbury said: “Jofra is no different to any other player in that we put the person first.

“Even though he’s centrally contracted, he’s a Sussex player and his welfare is just as important to us as any other of our players.

“If he and England feel that it’s best for him to play in the seconds to begin with, then that’s fine with us.

“We forget this guy has been globetrotting during an unbelievable two years, he’s been in a bubble more than almost anyone else over the last year.

“He has just had a major operation and so doing what’s right for him is crucial.

“It goes back to something I’ve said before: ‘person first, cricketer second’.

“If it was anyone else, we wouldn’t even be questioning them returning after an operation by playing in the second team rather than going straight into a Championship match.

“As brilliant as he is, he’s still a human being, who needs looking after.”

Yorkshire and Lancashire appear en course to take the top two places in the six-team group and therefore go into the title-chasing division in the second phase.

But Sussex can build on a win at Glamorgan in their most recent away game as they aim to keep pressure on the big two.

Salisbury believes the arrival of Head will give them a boost.

He said: “I’ve had quite a bit of contact with Trav since taking over the job. His enthusiasm for cricket is infectious.

“He has been messaging me non-stop through the games and telling me how much he’s been looking forward to getting over here.

“He gives off a lot of energy and he’s fully invested in what’s going on here at Sussex.”