England news November 2, 2008

Jones ready for latest fitness fight

Cricinfo staff


Simon Jones hasn't given up on resuming his international career © Getty Images
 
Simon Jones is in a familiar position, going through another period of rehabilitation after his third knee operation in two-and-a-half years, and concedes there is a chance his career could be over.

All was looking good for Jones mid-way through last season as he bowled at consistently rapid pace for Worcestershire, stringing together a run of one-day and Championship matches, following his move from Glamorgan. There was even talk of an England recall to face South Africa when Ryan Sidebottom was injured at Headingley, before the selectors opted for the surprise call-up of Darren Pattinson, and he made it into the preliminary 30-man Champions Trophy squad.

"I heard I was close," Jones told the Independent on Sunday . "I was as shocked as anyone when Pattinson got called up. For myself, Hoggard and Steve Harmison, all the boys who had been busting their balls, it was a shock to the system."

However, he missed the end of the summer with another knee problem and has had to go under the knife again. Another winter of hours in gym is now facing Jones, and it could still all come to nothing.

"The surgeon was happy," Jones said. "He said, 'You can never be 100% [but] I'm 80 to 90% sure you'll be fine - you are always going to have 10 or 20% [chance that you won't play again]'."

Jones, though, is happy with those odds. He has beaten worse predictions before after being given a 70% chance of recovering from his horrific cruciate ligament injury at Brisbane in 2002. "I'll always back myself," he said. "I know if I can bowl at the top of my game I can get in that side."

Jones still thinks back to that magical summer in 2005 when his devastating reverse swing was a key part of England's Ashes victory but added he has more perspective on life. "The kids have calmed me down. You realise what's important in life."

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