Flintoff reveals injury frustration

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The Independent Online

Andrew Flintoff admits he is plagued more by frustration than physical pain as he continues his rehabilitation from knee surgery.

The 31-year-old all-rounder has been out of action since England's Ashes win in the summer but is bidding to come back to fitness to contest the shorter forms of the game following his retirement from Test cricket.

Flintoff is recovering from an arthroscopy and microfracture surgery to his right knee in late August and recently admitted another setback could end his playing career, but he remains bullish over his chances of making a successful return.

"The frustrating thing is that I don't even feel injured," Flintoff told The Guardian. "I'm not in pain but the surgeon warned me it's going to be a test of patience - and patience is not something I've got in abundance.

"The rehab is very slow. I'm on the crutches until November and once the knee is scanned, we'll see if it's beginning to work.

"It helps that the surgeon says the chances of me coming back are high."

Flintoff revealed both the England and Wales Cricket Board and his county side, Lancashire, would be involved in his rehabilitation, and added that he would consider playing four-day matches at county level on his return.

"The ECB will monitor it, and I will report to them, to the doctors. But I'm also contracted to Lancashire and I've worked with their physio, Dave Roberts, for years," he said. "Dave and Lancashire will also look after me.

"I've got another year to run on my contract with Lancashire and Chubby [Flintoff's agent, Andrew Chandler] has been in for a chat. There're no dramas - it's just finding out what the club expects from me and what I'd like from them.

"There's obviously the one-day stuff and I've mentioned playing a few four-day games."

While admitting his involvement in the longer form of the game may not be fully behind him, Flintoff concedes his first responsibility will be to one-day matches.

"I'll play the odd one [four-day match]. If [Lancashire] is struggling with injury or they want me, I'd like to do that," he said.

"But I want to play for England and I won't jeopardise that.

"I've got lots of ambition left with England. I want to win a World Cup. I want to win Twenty20 tournaments."

Since undergoing the surgery which has left him sidelined, Flintoff has snubbed the ECB's offer of an incremental contract - an action which prompted some criticism.

However, Flintoff insists he made the correct decision, saying: "I'm comfortable in what I've done.

"I know what I'm doing - sincerely. I'm in a good position to know when I can play, and when I can't.

"I'll never duck out of an England game. I enjoy playing too much for England to do that."