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ECB coy over Flintoff surgery report

cricket Updated: Aug 21, 2009 17:55 IST

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English cricket chiefs refused to comment on Friday on a newspaper report that all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will undergo knee surgery immediately after the end of the fifth Test against Australia.

The 31-year-old, who is retiring from Test cricket after the Ashes decider because his injury-wracked body can no longer stand the strain of the five-day format, is due to travel with England's one-day squad to Belfast on Tuesday.

That is the day after Monday's scheduled end to the fifth Test here at the Oval, a match England must win to regain the Ashes.

But a report in Britain's Daily Telegraph said Flintoff, included in several England one-day squads for upcoming tournaments, will have an operation on his right knee that will sideline him for nine months.

An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) spokesman said: "We are making no further comment on his medical condition. We are leaving him to concentrate on the task at hand, which is on the field.

"As we have said previously an operation remains an option at the end of the series.

"He will be reassessed at the end of this current match."

Lancashire all-rounder Flintoff missed the fourth Test defeat at Headingley that saw Australia level the series at 1-1 because of his knee injury but was passed fit for the Ashes finale.