England news August 30, 2009

"There is a possibility I may not play again" - Flintoff

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Flintoff has admitted there is a chance he may never play at the highest level again after his latest knee surgery but is aiming for a comeback in February 2010. Flintoff underwent routine arthroscopy and micro-fracture to two small areas in his right knee a day after England regained the Ashes, and was expected to be on crutches for a minimum of six weeks.

"There is a possibility I may not play again," Flintoff told News of the World. "It's something I'm going to have to be prepared for in case the operation is not as successful as I hope. There will be a question mark in my mind about whether I have played my last game until I know how the operation has turned out. I'd be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind, but the success rate for an operation like this is pretty good. The bottom line is that if it doesn't work, there's nothing I can do about it."

After playing through pain during the Ashes, Flintoff retired from Tests following England's 2-1 victory against Australia but said that he intended to continue playing one-day and Twenty20 internationals for England. He said he didn't want his career "to end like this" and hoped to be fit for the tour to Bangladesh in February-March 2010.

"My Test career ended with a high by England winning the Ashes and I'd like to finish my one-day career by winning the World Cup. The next few weeks are quite crucial in the recovery and I'm not supposed to put any weight on my knee.

"I will see the specialist in a couple of weeks and then have another eight-week check-up. It's only then we'll know the extent of where I'm up to. I have set myself a target of returning for the tour to Bangladesh, which is from mid-February to the middle of March, but whether that's realistic or not, I'm not sure."