x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

England optimistic Flintoff will be fit for second Test

Andy Flower, the England coach, says they will know if he is ready for the second Test tomorrow.

LONDON // England are optimistic that Andrew Flintoff will be fit for the second Ashes Test starting at Lord's on Thursday following the all-rounder's latest injury scare. Flintoff, 31, suffered pain and swelling in his right knee, which required an operation this year to repair a torn meniscus, after the drawn first test in Cardiff on Sunday. He missed the two home Tests against West Indies and the Twenty20 World Cup.

"He saw the surgeon that operated on his knee," head coach Andy Flower said. "His surgeon was quite optimistic about him playing in this game. He won't bowl today but he will have a bat and he will have a bowl tomorrow. We'll assess it tomorrow and make a decision then." Flintoff has endured four operations on his left ankle and also suffered hip and shoulder injuries. Since his debut in 1998 he has missed 62 of England's 138 tests.

Flower said the selectors were always concerned about Flintoff's fitness because of his injury record. "He seems vulnerable a lot of the time, so we can't get away from that, but he's a hell of a player and we want him in our side if he's fit," he added. * Reuters