Flintoff vows to be fit in time for Aussies

Published: Friday, January 28, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Andrew Flintoff has insisted he will be fit in time for the start of the next English cricket season when England will look to win their first Ashes series in 19 years.

All-rounder Flintoff, 27, played a key role in England's 2-1 Test series win in South Africa but has flown home before the one-day leg of the tour to have an operation on a longstanding ankle injury and give himself enough time to recover for the visit of Ricky Ponting's world champions.

Despite England having acknowledged the dangers of over-bowling Flintoff, the Lancashire paceman was again given a heavy workload despite being troubled by a bone spur problem.

And he told Sky Sports Thursday: "I had an injection last week to get me through the (fifth) Test match but I've got time now to get it (the operation) done.

"I've got a few weeks to get fit for the start of the season. I've had a few injections over my career, but this is a different sort of injury."

Flintoff, also a hard-hitting batsman, tried to downplay the impact all his bowling had had on his injury.

"The workload has played a part but lots of bowlers have had this done. It is just a case of getting this window of opportunity. It has come to the point where I need to get it done and there was no other time."

Flintoff has still to play a Test against Australia despite making 45 Test appearances and didn't feature in the last Ashes series, in 2002-03, because of a hernia problem.

England have a two-Test series at home to Bnagladesh starting on May 26 before they are involved in a triangular one-day competition with the Asian minnows and Australia.

They then play four separate limited overs internationals against Australia before the first Ashes Test starts at Lord's on July 21.

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