ENGLAND all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has conceded he may never play cricket cricket again.
The 31-year-old underwent surgery on his long-standing knee injury after helping England seal their second consecutive home Ashes series win at The Oval last weekend.
Flintoff hopes to be back in action by March, but he told the News of the World: “There is a possibility I may not play again. It’s something I’m going to have to be prepared for in case the operation is not as successful as I hope.”
He added: “There will be a question mark in my mind about whether I have played my last game until I know how the operation has turned out.
“I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind, but the success rate for an operation like this is pretty good. The bottom line is that if it doesn’t work, there’s nothing I can do about it.
“But I don’t want my career to end like this. My Test career ended with a high by England winning the Ashes and I’d like to finish my one-day career by winning the World Cup.”
Flintoff played through the pain at The Oval after missing the Headingley Test, but looked far from his best, with his only telling contribution in the second innings the run out of Ricky Ponting.
He said: “The day after the Ashes win I went for a scan, which confirmed my knee problem had got worse. I was really struggling towards the end of the final Test.”
He added: “The next few weeks are quite crucial in the recovery and I’m not supposed to put any weight on my knee. In the past when I’ve been on crutches for two or three weeks my leg has been terrible, so this time it’s going to be awful.
“I will see the specialist in a couple of weeks and then have another eight-week check-up. It’s only then we’ll know the extent of where I’m up to.
I have set myself a target of returning for the tour to Bangladesh, which is from mid-February to the middle of March, but whether that’s realistic or not, I’m not sure.” (Eurosport)