Nursing a career-threatening knee injury, talismanic England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is afraid that he may not play international cricket again.
“There is a possibility I may not play again. It’s something I’m going to have to be prepared for in case the operation is not as successful as I hope,” Flintoff told News of the World.
The burly all-rounder underwent a keyhole surgery — his second on the troublesome knee — a day after the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval.
“There will be a question mark in my mind about whether I have played my last game until I know how the operation has turned out.
“I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind, but the success rate for an operation like this is pretty good.
The bottom line is that if it doesn’t work, there’s nothing I can do about it,” said Flintoff.
This is, however, not the way he wants to drop curtains on his ODI and Twenty20 career.
The former captain ended his Test career on a high with England regaining the Ashes and he now wants to keep playing ODI till 2015 World Cup.
“I don’t want my career to end like this. My Test career ended with a high by England winning the Ashes and I’d like to finish my ODI career by winning the World Cup,” Flintoff said.
To mend his knee, Flintoff is now keeping his leg strapped to a 2500 pound Continuous Passive Motion equipment eight hours a day, as suggested by his Andy Williams and the device is designed to bend the knee up to 1,500 times every day.
“I had a choice of either using this machine or doing three sets of 500 knee bends a day, so I thought the machine might be the way forward.
“I strap my leg into it for eight hours a day. It bends my knee up and down all the time and makes sure the movement is controlled,” Flintoff said.
“I will have the machine on most of the time, even when I’m sleeping. The hard part is getting used to having your leg strapped into a machine for most of the day.
“It’s designed to help with the healing but, inevitably, my right leg is going to waste away a bit and the muscles are going to disappear. There’s not a lot I can do about it because I can’t bear any weight on my right leg for six to eight weeks,” Flintoff said.