Flintoff set to return to batting practice

Flintoff set to return to batting practice

Flintoff set to return to batting practice

 Andrew Flintoff

The 32-year-old Lancashire star admitted that he would not be able to bowl after undergoing knee surgery last summer after inspiring England to victory in the Ashes test at Lord's and playing in four of the five Tests as England regained the Ashes.

"It will be good just to start playing some form of cricket again after all this time and it will be great to start hitting balls again," said Flintoff, who suffered a setback in his rehabilitation when he suffered a deep vein thrombosis in September.

"I'm just really looking forward to starting cricket exercises again, which I hope to start early in the new year.

"As long as I don't have any setbacks, I should be able to start batting against a bowling machine.

"I won't be doing anything daft and I will have to ease into it again. When all you do is go to the gym every day, you can almost forget that you're a cricketer." However, Flintoff, who is still available for selection for limited overs cricket, conceded that he would have to wait a while to be able to bowl again.

"While it's good to be able to pick up a bat again, I'm still some way away from bowling again just yet," said the charismatic cricketer, who had a disastrous Ashes series in Australia in 2006/07 as captain when they were whitewashed 5-0.

"I've been given a programme by the surgeon, Andy Williams, and I will be sticking to that. I can't see me being given the go-ahead to start bowling for a good few weeks yet."

Flintoff - whose career has been blighted by four ankle operations and two on his knee - is set to return for a check-up in February when he is hoping to get involved with training sessions at Lancashire.