England in West Indies 2008-09 February 26, 2009

Flintoff's tour hangs in the balance

A half-fit Andrew Flintoff cut a disconsolate figure in the third Test last week © Getty Images

Andrew Flintoff's immediate future should become clearer on Friday with the ECB expected to make an announcement over his rehabilitation from the hip injury that ruled him out of the fourth Test in Barbados.

He was at the Kensington Oval on the opening day of the game to receive further treatment on the problem he picked up in Antigua. The fact that more information is set to be released mid-way through this game suggests that it won't be positive news.

"Obviously he is continuing his rehabilitation and I think there will be some news on him later," Andrew Strauss said, "in terms of what his best plan is, rehab wise."

There are various scenarios that could be explored, including sending him home for a short period to try and recover for the one-day series which starts on March 20. However, the decision may be taken to rule him out of the rest of the tour so he can recover in time for the home season.

One other factor to take into consideration is the IPL, in which Flintoff is due to play for three weeks as part of the Chennai Super Kings. Earlier this week he said he was confident about his fitness for that stint.

"I don't think it will be touch and go," he said. "The IPL's still a while away so for all intents and purposes I'll be fit for that. I'm intending to go but it's not really at the forefront of my thinking. I want to play Test cricket and I want to play the one-day internationals.

"I'm not in the Barbados Test and there's a chance I'll play in Trinidad but I'll have to see how it settles down. We'll see how the next week goes. If we've got to get it rescanned, we'll see what happens. If I'm being honest I don't know."

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer at Cricinfo