Batsman returning from injury January 22, 2009

Symonds entering 'final chapter' of career

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Symonds has watched his great mate Matthew Hayden walk off into the sunset © AFP

Andrew Symonds has said retirement is not on his immediate radar but he does believe he is entering the "final chapter" of his cricket career. Symonds, 33, is likely to line up for Queensland next week as he returns following knee surgery, if his comeback for his club side on the weekend goes to plan.

He will be preparing for February's tour of South Africa, where he will be without his great mate Matthew Hayden, who retired following the home Test series. Symonds took a trip to Hayden's holiday house on Stradbroke Island to see how his friend was handling retirement.

"I went over to Straddie and saw him a couple of days ago, he's very relaxed," Symonds told AAP. However, Symonds said Hayden's situation had not yet sparked retirement thoughts of his own.

"The day that I am worn out either physically or mentally I will just say 'that will do me'," he said. "I haven't put a time limit as to when I finish playing. Hopefully I can go on my terms rather than injury or lack of form. There's only so many tokens left. Hopefully I can use them effectively and have a good end to my career."

The finish looked like it might have been forced upon him after his fishing trip in Darwin in August, when he was stood down from the national squad. He missed the tour of India but returned for the home summer and he is aiming to now look forward rather than back.

"Hopefully I can leave the past behind me, we can make this a new chapter," Symonds said. "I feel like this is the final chapter of my cricketing career coming up so hopefully I can play some good cricket, finish well and look back on my career which has been interesting but also very enjoyable."

Symonds will not bowl in his comeback state match as he keeps an eye on his knee. However he has ruled out giving up bowling in an effort to prolong his career as a batsman only.

"I don't play cricket like that," he said. "I think I need to be able to bowl to be at my most effective, and I need to be mobile in the field. This has been a good time to freshen up again, clear the mind and give the body a rest, I feel good."