Moores looks forward to Flintoff return
Lancashire coach Peter Moores has "no doubt at all" that Andrew Flintoff will play again.
The all-rounder is currently recovering from knee surgery, the latest in a long line of injuries which have blighted his career and persuaded him to retire from Test cricket last year.
Flintoff, 32, went under the knife in the immediate aftermath of England's Ashes success in September, and was forced to undergo a further operation in January - and delay his comeback until later this summer.
He admitted for the first time last week that there is a "slim possibility" he will never return to action, but Moores, Flintoff's former England coach and now in charge of his county side, is unequivocal in his stance.
"I've got a lot of confidence - I've no doubt at all that he'll play again," said Moores, who has seen Flintoff complete lengthy periods of rehabilitation from back, ankle, foot, groin, hip and nose injuries in the past.
"When the surgeon had another look at the knee, the fact that he was happy with it is the main thing - that it's repaired or repairing well.
"Fred has got to do his rehab but he has shown in the past that when there's a will for him to do it, and he strongly wants to play, he'll come through.
"Having watched Fred do his rehab before - he knows how to do it, he's very disciplined, he's quite long in the tooth, he's been in international sport for 13-14 years, he doesn't need someone to hold his hand - I'm very confident he'll play again."
As ever with injuries, particularly to a player with Flintoff's track record, Moores admits luck will play its part in his recovery - and subsequent return to competitive duty.
"It's down to the surgeon to do his bit and Fred to do his part. Now we're down to that bit, and hopefully it works," he added.
"He's got to do his stuff if he wants to play. The key will be how it stands up over time and the pressure of playing, which nobody will know."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan called time on his playing career last summer due to a long-standing knee problem, citing a lack of desire to spend the majority of his time in the gym.
Flintoff, however, has never made any secret of his ambition to feature in England's World Cup campaign next year, and committed his future to Lancashire by signing a three-year contract.
While Moores claims no-one could have any complaints if Flintoff followed Vaughan's example and called time on a career which saw him earn hero status, it is a scenario he does not predict happening any time soon.
"Michael had got to the stage where he'd played, he'd done it and he knew he'd done his stuff. He decided that was his time," said Moores.
"If Fred didn't want to play he wouldn't. He desperately wants to play and he feels like he's still got unfinished business; he's still got more cricket to play.
"If Fred turned round at some stage and said, 'I've had enough', I think we'd all respect that - very much. He's had a fantastic career, he's influenced big series at big times and been a big-match player.
"But at the moment I get the impression that he wants to do well for Lancashire, which is great because he loves the club. It would be a fantastic finish for him to come here and help us win something."
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