Playing in the Indian Premier League should not be blamed for Andrew Flintoff's injury breakdown as he could have picked up the knee problem anywhere, feels the all-rounder's England teammate Paul Collingwood.
Flintoff, who was bought by the Chennai Super Kings for a whopping USD 1.55 million, returned home on Friday from South Africa for surgery on a tear on his right knee and is unlikely to come back for the T20 event.
"The critics have been saying he should never have come to the IPL in the first place, but that is just playing devil's advocate. The fact is that the injury could have happened at any time, and this has been a valuable learning experience for all the England players," Collingwood wrote in his column in 'The Telegraph'.
However, Collingwood, the front-runner to lead England in the Twenty20 cricket World Cup in June, admitted that Flintoff's injury is a big blow to the side.
"Friday brought less happy news about Andrew Flintoff. His injury is a devastating blow, both for himself and for the England team, as we'll have to do without him in the Tests against the West Indies," he wrote.