England v India, 7th ODI, Lord's September 7, 2007

Flintoff pins hopes on steroid injection

Cricinfo staff

Tough time: Andrew Flintoff tested his ankle with bat and ball during England's net session © Getty Images
Andrew Flintoff has had a steroid injection in his left ankle in a bid to play in the deciding one-day international against India at Lord's and be available for the ICC World Twenty20.

Flintoff has missed three matches in the current series, one with swelling behind his right knee and two after jarring his ankle during the fourth game at Old Trafford. He had a lengthy bat in the nets at Lord's and bowled under the watchful eyes of Peter Moores and the England medical team.

"There is no pain reaction as of now," said Moores, "but we have to wait until the morning. It is very difficult to identify what it [the problem] is. We will look into that and hopefully we can rein it in and make him ready for the longer term. We don't know when the pain is going to come back or not.

"At the moment the medical team is assessing him and he is already wearing a special boot that will help him. We have to try and make sure that it settles down and the injection will help for that. He batted and bowled today, and now we have to wait for the ECB medical team's word on whether we can play him tomorrow."

It is the first steroid injection Flintoff has had since the Melbourne Test last winter and he has previously said how he doesn't want to rely on them because of the long-term effects on his body. However, Moores is confident that the latest jab is the best way to get Flintoff back onto the field.

"The injection is to take the pain away and get that inflammation down, and it is the first stage. It is a way of injury management. They [the medical team] were very conscious with the injection and it wasn't into the joints. I am not a medical man, but they said the risk with the injection is minimal and we can go ahead with it."