New Delhi: Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's tryst with Indian Premier League tournament is over for this year. Flintoff has been sent back from South Africa after the England and Wales Cricket Board recalled him when a scan revealed a knee injury.
The Lancashire player will undergo surgery on his right knee next week, which rules him out of the upcoming two-Test series against the West Indies. However, he is expected to recover for the Ashes.
Hugh Morris, England Cricket Managing Director said that: "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 World Twenty20 or the Ashes. Having the surgery now means that Flintoff should be available for both those events although he is certain to miss the series against the West Indies."
Scans at a Durban hospital earlier detected a slight medial meniscal tear and after they were viewed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)'s medical supremo Nick Peirce, it was decided that Flintoff should return to London.
"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 anywhere. The procedures we put in place meant that the ECB medical staff were alerted about the problem immediately and we thank Chennai for their cooperation." said Peirce.
Flintoff, the most expensive player in IPL along with Kevin Pietersen, has just played three games for the Super Kings but the English Board are taking no chances with a busy season ahead which includes Test matches against the West Indies and the Twenty20 World Championship.
Flintoff hasn't had a great run so far in the tournament. He has made just 62 runs and has conceded 105 runs with only 2 wickets in 11 overs bowled.
However, the fact that Flintoff got injured while playing the IPL may spark off an uproar as there was criticism of the all-rounder taking part in the cash-rich league rather than preparing for England's Test series against the West Indies.
(With inputs from CNN-IBN and AFP)