Wednesday 10 June 2009 

Ashes 2009: Lancashire Eye Early Return For Flintoff

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff could make his first appearance since undergoing keyhole surgery on his knee as early as tomorrow (11th June) when Lancashire meet reigning champions Durham in the at Chester-le-Street.

Flintoff has not played this summer after he returned home from the Indian Premier League early with a slight medial meniscal tear and subsequently missed the Test and ODI series against the West Indies and he also had to pull out of the ICC World Twenty20.

Flintoff will travel to Durham with Lancashire's squad, even though he was not named in the 12 players from whom head coach Peter Moores should select his team.

“Fred has worked very hard over the past six weeks and his recovery has gone better than some people expected," Moores told the media at Old Trafford.

"He is in the final stages of his rehabilitation, and over the past four days he has spent time batting and bowling, each time increasing the duration and intensity of these sessions.

“He has progressed really well, but the decision on whether he is ready to return to competitive cricket is not down to me, I’ll take a back seat and let the medical staff make that call.  If they turn around to me and say he can play, then we will sort something out."

The game represents South African vice-captain Ashwell Prince's final match with the county before VVS Laxman arrives to assume overseas player duties.

Lancashire (from): Paul Horton, Tom Smith, Mal Loye, Ashwell Prince, Francois du Plessis, Mark Chilton, Luke Sutton, Glen Chapple, Sajid Mahmood, Oliver Newby, Gary Keedy, Kyle Hogg. Andrew Flintoff travels with the squad but is not named in the 12.

© Cricket World 2009