South Africa v England, 3rd Test, Cape Town January 5, 2005

Flintoff faces possible tour KO

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Flintoff walks off after being dismissed ... and he may not return for the rest of England's tour © Getty Images
Andrew Flintoff will undergo a scan tomorrow to decide whether he is fit enough to remain on the tour.

Flintoff suffered a side strain this morning, returning to the dressing room complaining of a stiff side. He was subsequently inspected by a local doctor but will undergo further tests tomorrow.

Sources close to the England camp said that the fear was that he had strained an intercostal muscle which would require between four and six weeks' rest.

"Freddie had a stiffness in the side and we're going to find out a bit more about it tomorrow," said Duncan Fletcher, England's coach. "You always have to take 24 hours to take a look at these things and he'll be checked tomorrow. He'll be going for an X-ray like they all do these days - we don't take any chances. He'll go and get an X-ray and a scan and we'll see what it is, but he says it's a little stiff at the moment."

Fletcher was quick to dismiss suggestions that Flintoff had been overbowled on the tour. "These kind of injuries can come from anything," he said. "Sometimes it comes from no bowling and sometimes it comes from too much bowling. If we knew how these injuries came about we might be able to stop them."

Were England to lose Flintoff then it would seriously disrupt the balance of the side.