Flintoff bowed out of Test cricket after England's 2009 Ashes success
All-rounder Andrew Flintoff says he is recovering well from knee surgery but concedes he is likely to miss England's tour to Bangladesh early next year.
Flintoff, 31, retired from Tests last summer but still hopes to represent his country in limited-overs cricket.
"My recovery is still on track," the Lancashire star told his website after visiting knee specialist Andy Williams.
"(But) I must admit that saying I would be fit to play in Bangladesh may have been a touch optimistic on my part."
England's tour of Bangladesh begins on 28 February with three one-day internationals, before a two-Test series starts on 12 March.
Flintoff turned down an incremental contract offer from England in order to pursue other short-term opportunities but pledged to remain available for their one-day matches.
If he fails to recover in time for the Bangladesh ODIs, his next target is likely to be the 2010 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, which will run from 12 March to 25 April.
His next opportunity to resume his international career would be at the ICC World Twenty20 - which starts almost immediately after the IPL final - before England's summer ODIs against Scotland, Australia and Pakistan.
Last year, Flintoff signed a record $1.55m (£900,000) contract to play for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, although his 2009 stint was cut short by injury.
He had surgery in August after helping England regain the Ashes with victory over Australia and was pleased with the findings of his 12-week check-up by Williams.
"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," said Flintoff, who has been carrying out his rehabilitation in Dubai.
"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.
"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."
Writing in his blog on his personal website, 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," he added.
"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 new regime will be easy."