Flintoff plays the waiting game
Andrew Flintoff has ended any lingering hopes of his participation in the one-day leg of England's tour to Bangladesh, but the all-rounder reports that his knee specialist is "very pleased with his progress".
Flintoff, 31, went under the knife almost as soon as he retired from Test cricket at the end of this summer’s successful npower Ashes campaign and committed himself to his country’s limited-overs team, starting with the trip to Bangladesh in February.
Flintoff, who has been recuperating in Dubai, now accepts his assessment was a hasty one but was otherwise pleased with the findings of his 12-week check-up with specialist Andy Williams.
Writing on his blog on www.andrewflintoff.com, the Lancashire player said: “I am delighted to report my recovery is still on track after a quick trip back to the UK to visit my knee specialist.
“I must admit I was a little concerned. I was anxious and it was playing on my mind that he was going to say the operation had not been successful.
“It was the first time the specialist had really looked at my knee since the operation and I had a scan prior to the check-up so he could examine the results. Fortunately, he was very pleased with my progress.
“It was a huge weight off my mind and a big relief that I was on track. I know I’m not in the clear yet and there is still a lot of hard work to be done, but so far, so good and it is very good news because if he'd said he was disappointed with my progress I’d have been devastated.”
Reflecting on his initial prognosis, he added: “I’m still some way away from playing again and I must admit that saying I would be fit to play for England in Bangladesh in mid-February may have been a touch optimistic on my part.
“The important thing is that I am still on track to play again and I am prepared to wait as long as it takes to get back onto the field.”
Flintoff also revealed that he has been advised to adopt a lower-impact training regime in future as he bids to manage his knee complaint for the remainder of his career.
“Quite apart from being pleased with my knee, the other good news I received from the specialist was that he said I should not be doing as much running in my training,” said Flintoff.
“I would imagine I will still have to do some running to get back in shape, but I think the days of me pounding the treadmill are over.
"As you can imagine, I was gutted to hear that, although I doubt the regime will be easy.”