Flintoff may miss entire Ashes

Flintoff may miss entire Ashes

Harmison added to the squad

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff’s participation in the rest of the Ashes series looks doubtful as he awaits the results of a scan on his right knee that is likely to rule him out of this week’s Lord’s Test and possibly beyond.

Flintoff, who has been bowling only since June 11 after injuring the same knee playing in the Indian Premier League in April, twisted the joint in the field during the draw with Australia in Cardiff and now faces renewed speculation about his future.

Team officials insisted the scan was merely precautionary but the addition of Steve Harmison to an enlarged 14-man squad did little to dampen fears that the latest in a long line of niggles could rule Flintoff out for the summer. “Andrew is experiencing soreness and swelling in the knee which he twisted while in the field and he will be reassessed by the medical staff over the next 48 hours,” Geoff Miller, the national selector, was quoted as saying in the Guardian Tuesday.

“It’s not the pain he had before when he had his real problems with the knee — it’s new pain. We won’t rush it. We regard Andrew too highly to do that. We know how much passion he has to play for England and in the Ashes so we would not rush that situation.”

England head coach Andy Flower, however, sounded optimistic about Flintoff’s availibility. “He saw the surgeon that operated on his knee," Flower told a news conference on Tuesday.  "His surgeon was quite optimistic about him playing in this (second Test) game. He won't bowl today but he will have a bat and he will have a bowl tomorrow. We'll assess it tomorrow and make a decision then."

Flintoff has endured four operations on his left ankle and also suffered hip and shoulder injuries. Since his debut in 1998 he has missed 62 of England's 138 Tests.

Flower said the selectors were always concerned about Flintoff's fitness because of his injury record. "He seems vulnerable a lot of the time, so we can't get away from that, but he's a hell of a player and we want him in our side if he's fit," he said.

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