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  Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 16:25 GMT
Jones targets full recovery
Simon Jones
Jones has had terrible luck with injuries
England fast bowler Simon Jones says he will return "stronger, faster and fitter" after his 10 month injury lay-off.

Jones ruptured the cruciate ligament in his right knee in a freak accident while fielding on day one of the first Test against Australia in Brisbane.

He will undergo a two-hour operation on Monday to rebuild his knee, and surgeon Derek Bickerstaff has assured the 23-year-old he will make a complete recovery.

The Sheffield-based specialist has also operated on Jones' fellow England stars Darren Gough, Mark Butcher and Craig White.

Jones has been advised not to walk for six weeks after the operation, and will not be allowed to run for four months.

But the Glamorgan paceman is already planning his rehabilitation programme.

Ironically, his return to action could come in the country which threatened to bring his promising career to a premature end.

"I think I'll go away to play for an Australian club team just to get bowling again," Jones told BBC Wales Sport.

"Obviously, I wouldn't be able to do that here (in Wales) because it'll be our winter.

"I'm just looking forward to the day I can play and bowl again."

I can use the next 10 or 11 months as a time to work on my weaknesses

Simon Jones
It is certainly not the first time Jones has faced a long road to recovery.

He has suffered stress fractures of the foot and shin in the past, and his inclusion in the Ashes squad was jeopardised until the last minute by a rib injury.

The prospect of 10 months away from cricket could have proved too much for a lesser man, but Jones is concentrating on the positives.

"I'm looking at it like a positive," Jones said. "I can use the next 10 or 11 months as a time to work on my weaknesses as a player and a person.

"It's character building in a way. I've been assured I'll come back stronger, faster and fitter."

Jones also revealed that the sickening injury would have been avoided if only he had seen a coaching video made by rival Ricky Ponting.

The Australia batsman and specialist fielder endured a period on the sidelines after seriously injuring his ankle while crashing into a boundary hoarding at the SCG in February 2000.

And in his video, he has a special piece of advice about fielding at the Gabba in Brisbane - the scene of Jones' accident.

"I found out that he had refused to slide at the Gabba in the video because of the softness of the outfield," said Jones.

"If only I'd have known that before going out to field; it would have made a big difference."

All the reports from the Test match

Day three

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Day one

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