England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff has undergone an operation on his problem left ankle, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday.
Flintoff had the surgery on Wednesday to remove scar tissue surrounding a tendon at the back of the ankle, which has been causing him discomfort when bowling.
It is still anticipated that Flintoff will be on the sidelines for 12 weeks, which rules him out of the rest of the home season and the ongoing Test series against Pakistan as well as making it unlikely he will feature in October's Champions Trophy one-day tournament in India.
And with the Ashes series due to start in Brisbane in November, questions have been raised over the readiness of Flintoff -- the man England want to lead them in Australia -- for a demanding tour.
David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors, suggested Flintoff might play grade cricket in Australia before the Ashes get underway on November 23 in a bid to get some much practice.
Meanwhile, Flintoff will again be supervised in his rehabilitation programme by Lancashire physiotherapist Dave Roberts, who will liaise with England's medical staff.
Flintoff had been on course to make his England return in the second Test against Pakistan, which started today, at his Old Trafford home ground, but broke down with a recurrence of his ankle problems during Lancashire's County Championship match against Kent at Canterbury last Friday.
That led to a fresh consulation Saturday with a specialist when it was confirmed that Flintoff required further surgery on the ankle which was operated on in January 2005.