Flintoff doubtful for fifth one-dayer against India

Published: Saturday, September 1, 2007, 0:00 [IST]
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London: England were left waiting on the fitness of Andrew Flintoff once again after the star all-rounder suffered a fresh injury to his troublesome left ankle ahead of Sunday's fifth one-day international against India here at Headingley.

Flintoff didn't bowl in the nets at Yorkshire's headquarters on Saturday, although he did bat.

England captain Paul Collingwood told reporters at the ground after practice: "Freddie's got a little bit of soreness in his ankle again.

"We'll have to wait and see about him in the next few hours. He's icing it up as usual but he has got a little bit of tenderness there. I'm sure he'll seek advice from the medical team."

Collingwood added that if Flintoff was ruled out, fast bowler Chris Tremlett would be likely to take his place.

"It looks a pretty typical Headingley pitch and it looks as if it will be overcast.

"That would give the big lad Tremlett a chance of playing because he took a good couple of wickets in the middle of the innings at Edgbaston (where England won by 42 runs on August 27)."

A statement released later on Saturday by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) regarding Flintoff's fitness said: "Following Thursday's NatWest Series match Andrew Flintoff has been experiencing some discomfort in his left ankle and did not bowl during England practice today (Saturday).

"Andrew suffered a reaction following Thursday's match and has undergone scans on the ankle which require further review.

"The ankle discomfort Andrew is experiencing is in no way related to the knee injury he sustained earlier in the series.

"Ongoing assessment and investigation into the injury will be carried out and a decision on Andrew's availability for Sunday's NatWest Series match will be made following further assessment."

An England spokesman added a final decision on Flintoff's fitness would be made on Sunday.

Flintoff felt some soreness in his ankle after the team's three-wicket win against India at the player's Old Trafford home ground on Thursday.

The 29-year-old has had three operations on his left ankle during the past three seasons.

He hadn't played any international cricket at all this season until returning for the start of the ongoing seven match one-day series with India.

In the second match of the series, at Bristol a week last Friday, he took career-best figures of five for 56.

However, he missed the third match of the campaign, at Edgbaston, with a right knee injury.

England are 3-1 up in the series and a win at Headingley will give them an unbeatable lead ahead of next week's matches in London at The Oval and Lord's.


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