Flintoff to play, despite ankle injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Flintoff to play, despite ankle injury

By Roger Vaughan 23/12/2006 06:47:28 PM Comments (0)

English cricket captain Andrew Flintoff expects to be fit for the Boxing Day Test, despite needing ongoing treatment for his troublesome ankle.

Flintoff has needed injections in the past few days and has not bowled in the nets.

The needles included anti-inflammatories and Flintoff said the treatment is more precautionary.

"The ankle feels good. Obviously we netted yesterday and I didn't bowl, I will probably bowl tomorrow," he said.

"There's no secret, I've had some discomfort in it over the past week.

"Having an injection is just a precaution, I'm not envisaging any long-term problems or worried about these next two Test matches."

Flintoff also plans to play as much as possible in the upcoming one-day series against Australian and New Zealand.

That series will feature the return of Michael Vaughan from knee injury.

Flintoff took over the captaincy because of Vaughan's absence and no skipper has been named yet for the one-dayers.

"Vaughany is fantastic. He's someone we've all enjoyed playing under for a long period of time, both as a captain and as a mate," Flintoff said.

"We want to have Vaughany back obviously as soon as we can, he's a fantastic cricketer.

"He's worked hard to get back to fitness, it's been an awful 12 months for him."

When asked about the captaincy, Flintoff replied: "The announcement is going to be made after the Test series.

"Michael Vaughan has been England captain, I have been doing this in his absence.

"We will see what happens."

Flintoff is confident his team can play well in the Boxing Day Test, despite having lost the Ashes 3-0 and Australia now further motivated by the impending retirements of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

"We want to show we can win out here, we want to show we can win two Test matches, it's a big occasion for us," he said.

"There's been a few things happen in the world of cricket over the past week, but it can't affect our preparations."

Flintoff also expected his players to cope with the 90,000-plus crowd that will pack the stadium.

"We've all played in front of crowds before, just because there are few more of them, I don't think it affects the way you go out and play or what you do," he said.

"There's a lot of character and a lot of pride in the dressing room and they will be keen to go out and show what good cricketers and what a good team we are.

"I've only been here (MCG) once before and you walk into the ground the other day, you see the size of it and you see the stands, it's something that's exciting."

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