Lloyd encourages Flintoff to go steady

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Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff returns from injury for Lancashire second XI against Durham seconds

David Lloyd has urged Andrew Flintoff to be patient as he hits the comeback trail again.

Flintoff has been out for six weeks after suffering a side strain against Durham in May.

The injury robbed him of an appearance in England’s npower series win over New Zealand just as Flintoff was bowling with all the old venom after recovering from a third ankle operation.

Now 30, Flintoff returned to action at Alderley Edge today as Lancashire second XI began their three-day encounter with Durham.

Lloyd was one of the interested spectators as Flintoff’s pre-lunch exertions were largely limited to fielding at second slip as Durham slumped to 141 for five.

And while he welcomed Flintoff back into the fold, he cautioned against expecting too much too soon from the all-rounder.

“He has to be patient and not rush it,” said Lloyd.

“There is bound to be a clamour to get him back for England but he has the right people around him to make sure he takes his time.”

After spending so long on the sidelines since his momentous efforts against Australia three summers ago, Flintoff is bound to have a desire to make up for lost time.

And Lloyd feels it will be his batting rather than bowling on which Flintoff must concentrate.

David Lloyd

Former England coach David Lloyd was at Alderley Edge for Flintoff's return

"Freddie will be frustrated and a bit angry,” he said.

“He spent so long coming back from his ankle operation and a side strain really is the worst injury for a bowler.

“The bowling takes care of itself. He was bowling superbly before his injury. He was looking fit and he was really firing.

“It is the batting he will need to work on. He needs to get some form and it doesn’t come easily.

“After such a long time out he has to get in, hang in and get a couple of decent scores under his belt.”

Lancashire have suggested Flintoff may bowl in the current fixture, although he has not been put under any pressure to do so.

“Cricket is a strange game in that you can be standing around for six hours and then suddenly you will have to do something explosive and your body needs to react,” said Lloyd.

“Sportsmen get injured, it goes with the territory.

“The good news is Freddie is back doing what he does best.

“I am sure England will beat South Africa whether Freddy is there or not but it would be better if he was. He just needs to find some form.”

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