England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff expects to have problems with his left ankle for the rest of his career.
I can start running again next month and that will be a big step on the road back
But the Lancashire star insists it is something he is ready to deal with.
"There is a possibility that I'll have to continue with my rehab programme until I retire from the game," he told the Manchester Evening News.
"If that's the case then I'll just have to grin and bear it. That would be a small price to pay for continuing to play cricket for a living."
Flintoff underwent a second operation in 12 months on the left ankle in July.
But he has confidence in his 12-week recovery plan and aims to play in the first Ashes Test against Australia in Brisbane, starting on 23 November.
"I've got absolute faith in my physio Dave Roberts and the specialist who performed the latest operation on my ankle," he added.
"It was they who devised my rehabilitation programme and I have complete confidence that if I follow their guidelines to the letter I will be fully fit for the Ashes series.
"I can start running again early next month and that will be a big step on the road back."