England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has made a surprise return for Lancashire’s Championship game against Durham.
Six weeks after his knee injury during the Indian Premier League, this will fuel hopes Freddie will be fit for England’s 2009 Ashes bid under Andrew Flower.
The injury prone test talisman had not expected to play before facing Hampshire at Liverpool next week. Flintoff was not named in the initial squad but travelled north regardless, raising hopes he might be involved in the fixture.
A side strain suffered by up-and-coming opener Tom Smith in the warm up led Coach Peter Moores to give Freddie his first Championship start in eleven months. Coming on first change, the 31-year-old seemingly wrote his own script, having Australian Michael di Venuto nick off with his second delivery.
Questions will remain as to whether Super Fred is 100% fit, after the meniscus tear in his right knee was operated on in April. The ECB were then confident Flintoff would return in time for the currently on-going World Twenty20 tournament.
While England waits with baited breath, we hope he has not been rushed back to action too soon.
Thanks to Lancashire Evening Post for the picture.