Flintoff will be ready

Red Rose star expected to play against Essex on Sunday

By Phil Jackson.   Last Updated: 14/03/08 6:31pm

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Flintoff: Back in the hunt

Flintoff: Back in the hunt

Sky Bet

Lancashire captain Stuart Law has backed Andrew Flintoff to be fully fit in time for the new season.

"He's probably not quite ready to his standards, but by time the season starts he'll be 95 to 100 per cent."
Andrew Flintoff Quotes of the week

The England all-rounder has not played for his county or country since the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in September.

He has yet to recover fitness after undergoing a fourth operation to repair his ankle problems, but has travelled with Lancashire for their pre-season tournament in Dubai.

Despite being left out of the Lightning's 79-run victory over the United Arab Emirates in their first match of the ARCH Arabian Cricket Challenge, Law has no doubt that England's talisman will return in time for the LV County Championship opener in mid-April.

Caution

"He's still fighting to be fit for the start of the season," Law told Sky Sports News. "But he's almost there. We thought discretion would be the better part of valour so we left him out to give him another day training.

"He's batting really well and his bowling's starting to come on as well. I don't think he's anywhere near ready to bowl 10 overs straight in a match.

"But unfortunately for Freddie whenever he plays cricket, even if it's a pre-season friendly, he goes 100 miles per hour.

"He's probably not quite ready to his standards, but by time the season starts he'll be 95 to 100 per cent."

Flintoff is set to make his return for the county against Essex Eagles in Sharjah on Sunday, as he builds toward the championship opener against Surrey on April 16.

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