Ashes 2009 June 8, 2009

Flintoff takes first step towards Ashes return

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Flintoff took the first step in his return to full match fitness on Sunday, bowling two sessions off a full run-up though not in match conditions. Flintoff first bowled two overs before play started in the game between Lancashire and Somerset, then returned to bowl four overs during the lunch interval.

Flintoff hopes to play all five Ashes Tests and he went through his bowling routine supervised by his physio, Dave Roberts. The second session included bowling to Lancashire coach Peter Moores, with the ball zipping through to the former England coach.

"He was bowling within himself, but it was coming through nicely," Peter Moores said. "The key now is to see if there is any reaction. You take it day by day, but he's done quite a bit of physical work."

Flintoff said he was happy with his progress thus far. "I've had a lot of injuries over the past two, three years and the incentive to come back is to be involved in a series like the Ashes - so I'll be all right. I'm on schedule with where I should be at the moment."

Flintoff has been out of action for about six weeks following a knee injury, and felt that a few games for Lancashire would help assess his match fitness. "The key thing for me is form. Hopefully I'll have enough games for Lancashire - there's an England warm-up game as well - to show that. But the way England have been playing lately you can't just walk into a team and I've got to show my merit, which I'm confident of doing. I just need a chance to."

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