The Chennai Super Kings were dealt a serious blow on Friday with star allrounder and joint-most expensive IPL player Andrew Flintoff returning to England to undergo knee surgery. Flintoff was yet to fire in the IPL but his absence could affect the balance of the Chennai team. The injury is also an expensive one to Flintoff himself, whose return from the IPL could now drop to approximately $300,000.
Flintoff returned to London on Friday, and will undergo surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Flintoff felt discomfort in his right knee while bowling in Thursday’s match against Delhi where his four overs cost 50 runs. When Flintoff told Chennai medical staff about his discomfort they immediately contacted Nick Peirce, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s chief medical officer.
Scans of the right knee revealed a slight medial meniscal tear in the knee and after they were viewed by Dr Peirce, radiologists and a surgeon it was decided that Flintoff should return to London.
He will undergo an operation early next week and surgeons are confident that he will recover from the keyhole surgery in three to five weeks.
Dr Peirce said: “Clearly this is a huge disappointment for both the player and the IPL team. This sort of degenerative injury though is one that could have happened at any time any where. The procedures we put in place meant that the ECB medical staff were alerted about the problem immediately and we thank Chennai for their co operation.”
Hugh Morris, England Cricket Managing Director, added: “Andrew has been extremely unlucky with injuries but if there is one saving grace it is that the injury has occurred now rather than on the eve of either the Twenty20 World Cup or the Ashes.”
“Having the surgery now means that Flintoff should be available for both those events although he is certain to miss the Test series against the West Indies.”