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Andrew Flintoff plans four-day comeback with Lancashire

Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff retired from Test cricket after the 2009 Ashes win over Australia

Andrew Flintoff says he plans to play four-day cricket for Lancashire this summer after encouraging news from an exploratory knee operation this week.

The 32-year-old retired from Test cricket after the 2009 Ashes Series win and then underwent surgery on his knee.

Injuries meant he planned to focus on one-day cricket, however, he will now miss this year's Indian Premier League after reassessing his future plans.

"My goals have changed since last summer," said Flintoff.

"My recovery has led me to believe I may play in all forms of cricket for Lancashire."

Flintoff signed a record £900,000 contract to play for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

I have been watching England playing well in South Africa and it has made me realise how much I have missed cricket

Andrew Flintoff

His 2009 stint was cut short by injury and after surgery this week he will now be unable to fulfil the second year of his contract, something that has left the all-rounder philosophical.

"When I first had the operation I did not think I would be able to play anything other than one-day cricket," said Flintoff, who should return halfway through the county cricket season.

"First, I have to prove to myself that I can regain my fitness and perform for Lancashire.

"My first love remains playing for Lancashire and I want to help them win trophies and hopefully I can help achieve that later this summer.

"It is disappointing not to be able to play for Chennai who have been very supportive throughout my time with them.

"But I took this decision because I love playing cricket and want to give myself the best chance of extending my career."

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Flintoff's career has been blighted by four ankle operations but when fit he remains capable of high-class bowling spells as he showed when he took 5-92 in July to help England win a Test against Australia at Lord's for the first time in 75 years.

England's talisman admitted he has been a frustrated spectator as his international team-mates have been battling against South Africa this winter and another chance to play for England remains a key aim.

Despite the optimistic outlook, it is unlikely Flintoff will be able to resume his international career before England's summer one-day internationals against Scotland, Australia and Pakistan, which start with a visit to Citylets Grange to face Scotland on 19 June.

"I have worked extremely hard over the last few months to get to this position and realise there is a lot more hard work in front of me if I want to return and play international cricket again," added Flintoff.

"But if I am going to go through another six months of hard rehabilitation and training for long hours, I need a big incentive to be the driving force of that and playing for Lancashire and England again will become that.

"During my time in rehabilitation I have been watching England playing well in South Africa and it has made me realise how much I have missed cricket.

"For the first time in my career I have watched old footage of myself playing on Youtube and I want to get back to playing like that again."



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see also
Flintoff targets bowling comeback
27 Jun 10 |  Cricket
Flintoff 'on track' for comeback
16 Nov 09 |  England
Flintoff's Test career in pictures
28 Sep 09 |  England
Flintoff 'still wants to be best'
06 Nov 09 |  Lancashire
Flintoff signs one-day Lancs deal
05 Nov 09 |  Lancashire


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