Andrew Flintoff has targeted the Bangladesh tour in the New Year for his comeback with a second knee operation planned for Monday night, a day after he helped England regain the Ashes at The Oval.
Australia was beaten by 197 runs to lose the series 2-1. It was the fitting end of his Test career for all-rounder Flintoff, whose inspirational run out of Australia skipper Ricky Ponting sparked the victory charge on Sunday.
Flintoff defied the pain of his cartilage injury in his right knee throughout the Ashes series after the problem first flared while playing in the Indian Premier League in April. The injury forced him to announce his retirement from tests after the Ashes but he is hoping to remain a key part of England’s ODI plans.
“The surgeon has a good idea of what he’s going to find,” Flintoff told reporters. “I think it would be wrong for me to speculate on what may happen. We’ll see when I wake up after the anaesthetic where I’m at with it.
“Realistically I think before Christmas I’m going to struggle (to play). Obviously I’ve retired from Test cricket but there’s a tour to Bangladesh which I desperately want to be involved in. So realistically I think that could be my first cricket after this.”
The tour schedule to Bangladesh has not yet been released but is slated for February and March when there are set to be two Tests and three ODIs with Flintoff hoping to feature in the latter games.