Missing Ashes 'not an option' says Flintoff

Missing the Ashes series through injury is "not an option" for England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who claims his recovery from knee surgery is on track.

The 31-year-old has been hampered by injuries in the last two years and his latest problem, suffered on Indian Premier League duty, has kept him out of the World Twenty20.

However, he is on the brink of a return to first-class cricket for Lancashire and is confident he will be ready for the first Test against Australia, which begins on 8 July.

"I am bang up to where I want to be at this stage and I have had no ill reaction. So far so good," Flintoff told the BBC.

"Not being fit for the Ashes is not an option.

"For English cricket the Ashes is the biggest thing for any of us. Having played in two I'm desperate to play for a third.

"Come Cardiff I will be available to play I've just got to get in the team now."

Flintoff will travel with Lancashire for their County Championship match in Durham which begins tomorrow.

"He is coming to Durham whatever. It's part of his whole rehab, to be integrated into the team here and back into cricket," said Lancashire coach Peter Moores.