Vaughan sets sights on New Year comeback

England captain Michael Vaughan hopes to put his Ashes disappointment behind him by making a comeback early next year.

Vaughan underwent a fourth operation on his troublesome knee earlier this month which ruled him out of the Ashes defence in Australia this winter.

But the Yorkshire captain remains hopeful of returning to action for the one-day fixtures against Australia and New Zealand in January and February to prove his fitness for the World Cup which begins in the Caribbean in March.

"It's going to be a long road but hopefully I'll be back playing cricket again in the early part of 2007," Vaughan told BBC1.

"It's been a tough year, I thought I'd got very close to being fit to play and it wasn't right so I had to have another operation.

"At least it looks like I'm on the upward slide now and I can look forward to playing cricket again.

"It's going to be quite a hard rehab but I'm looking forward to getting back in 2007.

"It's frustrating. It's not nice to miss any tournament but to miss the biggest one (the Ashes), with what happened last year, I would have loved to have gone down there to try to win them again.

"But that's not to be. I have to look forward and try to get fit for the early part of 2007, try to play a part in the one-day games and also the World Cup in March."

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