West Indies v England, 3rd ODI, Barbados

Flintoff set to return for England

Cricinfo staff

March 24, 2009

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Andrew Flintoff takes a break at the Antigua Recreation Ground nets, Antigua, February 10, 2009
Andrew Flintoff: "I was close to playing on Sunday but we erred on the side of caution and I'll definitely be fit for Friday" © AFP
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Andrew Flintoff is set to return for the third ODI between England and West Indies in Barbados, after recovering from the hip injury that forced him to miss the final two Tests of last month's 1-0 series defeat.

With the series squared at 1-1, Flintoff's return will be a boost for England after they were comfortably outplayed during their 21-run loss in the second match in Guyana. He had been close to selection for that game, having undergone intensive treatment since flying home for a week after the third Test in Antigua.

"I've bowled as near to 100% as I probably can do in a net because playing in a match brings a bit more out of you," Flintoff told reporters in Barbados. "I've been bowling for the last week, bowled 10 overs over the previous two days and done my training and work. I was close to playing on Sunday but we erred on the side of caution and I'll definitely be fit for Friday."

Flintoff will probably return in place of either Steve Harmison or James Anderson, even though both men showed impressive form during the second match. Another alternative would be to rest Gareth Batty, the specialist spinner.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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