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Andrew Flintoff's future is once again in major doubt after he was ruled out for the remainder of the season after failing to recover from the knee injury that has sidelined him since last year's Ashes.
It had been hoped that Flintoff would return to second XI action with Lancashire this week but his comeback was initially delayed following concerns over how his knee would react to a one-day game. Now the decision has been taken that he will not be able to resume playing at all this summer.
"Whist Andrew has made significant progress, the combined opinion is that he is not quite ready for a return to cricket," Mike Watkinson, Lancashire's cricket director, said. "He will continue his rehabilitation into the winter months and we will constantly monitor and review his progress so that he is better equipped for a return to action."
This latest setback means he won't be fit to take part in the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa during September after he'd been named in Chennai Super Kings' provisional squad for the tournament. There must also be serious doubts over his winter plans which had been expected to included Twenty20 spells in Australia and New Zealand before next year's IPL.
Flintoff underwent knee surgery two days after England regained the Ashes last August and initially aimed to be ready for the start of the season. That soon became unrealistic and he required a further operation to clean up the knee earlier this year which put his recovery back another six months.
Throughout his rehabilitation Flintoff, who retired from Test cricket following the Ashes, has said he is determined to win back his England one-day place and had even set his sights on next year's World Cup in India. That chance now appears to have vanished although there was already a growing feeling that Andy Flower had moved on without Flintoff.