Setback in recovery from knee surgery September 6, 2009

Flintoff suffers deep vein thrombosis

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Flintoff's recovery from knee surgery has suffered a setback after the ECB revealed that he was suffering from deep vein thrombosis in his right calf.

The condition, often associated with long-haul airline flights, is caused by blood clotting and can be fatal if it goes undetected. However, a statement from the ECB medical team described the setback as "a common complication of surgery", adding that it would "require a simple course of treatment and will not complicate his recovery from surgery".

Flintoff underwent routine arthroscopy and micro-fracture to two small areas in his right knee on August 24, a day after England regained the Ashes, and was expected to be on crutches for a minimum of six weeks. He admitted in a newspaper interview that there was a chance he might never play again, but has targeted the tour of Bangladesh in February/March 2010 for his comeback.

"You don't want any complications, an operation like that is a big enough tribulation as it is," said England's captain, Andrew Strauss. "I just feel for him because he's got a lot of rehab ahead of him, and you don't want it to be slowed down in any way. Hopefully, it all will all go according to plan from here on."

The most famous case of cricketing DVT was that of Steve Waugh, who in 2001 underwent a course of blood-thinning treatment after developing a clot in the torn calf muscle which he had defied to score a memorable unbeaten 157 against England in the final Test of that summer at The Oval.

Flintoff's troublesome recovery from surgery follows that of his fellow star player, Kevin Pietersen, who spent two nights in hospital last month after suffering an infection in the stitching of his right Achilles.

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