Anderson eyes return after knee complaint

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The Independent Online

James Anderson was uneasy when the pain in his right knee baffled specialists - but he is confident the rest they prescribed has done the trick.

Anderson needed three injections to get through England's tough tour of South Africa and has since sat out the trip to Bangladesh.

But the fast bowler is reassured by an absence of any pain in the joint after his two months off, and is ready to start the season with Lancashire next weekend.

He then intends to play his part for England through a hectic schedule which will begin with the ICC World Twenty20 next month and contain the Ashes and World Cup next winter.

"The only thing that was a bit confusing was when we were trying to find out what it was and we couldn't quite put our finger on what was causing the problem," the 27-year-old said as he joined the NatWest CricketForce effort at Scarborough Cricket Club.

"But I've had a lot of rest and rehab - and I'm not feeling anything in my knee any more, so I'm looking forward to playing."

Anderson admitted he would ideally like to have known the cause of his pain.

"Obviously whenever you get an injury you want to find out exactly what the problem is," he said.

"It is frustrating not finding out what it was. But the area it was in was pretty localised, so we could treat it to an extent.

"Now I just need to get my leg stronger everywhere else. I've bowled quite a lot now and I'm ready to start playing again."

It was an easy decision to stay at home when his England colleagues, minus rested captain Andrew Strauss, went to Bangladesh for what proved a clean sweep of victories under Alastair Cook.

"I probably could have got through the (Bangladesh) series," he added. "But again, it would have been injections and things like that, which wouldn't have been good in the long run."

Instead, Anderson can start the new season full of optimism, having been impressed with the efforts of emerging bowlers such as Steve Finn and Tim Bresnan in Bangladesh.

"When England have been successful in the past we've had a squad of bowlers - not just the three or four to play - and I think the seamers that have come in have done very well," he said.

"James Tredwell has also come in and done very well, so we've got a couple of spinners and probably six or seven seamers.

"It's exciting - because with the 12 months we've got ahead, we'll need as big a squad as possible."

Looking even further ahead, Anderson admits the lure of the Indian Premier League may prove impossible to resist at some point in his future career.

He and his Test match pace colleague Stuart Broad memorably put Ashes ambition before IPL profile when they confirmed last December they would not be available for the sub-continental spectacular this year.

But yesterday, the 27-year-old admitted: "I'd probably like to play (in the IPL) in the future, if I'm being honest.

"I think it's a great tournament.

"It's a huge spectacle, with a huge crowd and a real buzz around the whole game.

"It looks like it would be brilliant to be part of."