Freddie injury not disastrous: Miller
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:PD Collingwood, A Flintoff
Event:Australia in British Isles 2009

DateLine: 14th July 2009


England's national selector Geoff Miller played down concerns over Andrew Flintoff's fitness.


The England hierarchy though are concerned about the all-rounder's condition and have added Steve Harmison to their squad for the second Ashes Test at Lord's.


After the dramatic draw in the series opener at Cardiff, England's biggest concern when they reassemble on Tuesday will be to assess the fitness of Flintoff. The all-rounder reported soreness in his right knee only weeks after recovering from an operation on it.


Flintoff underwent a scan on Monday and has had a cortisone injection to aid the healing process. England will continue to assess him over the next couple of days before they decide on their line-up for Thursday's second Test.


Knowing they have four more Tests in the next six weeks, England are remaining wary about Flintoff's problem and have drafted in Durham seamer Steve Harmison - who they see as a like-for-like bowler, if not batsman - into the squad as cover.


"I don't think it's a flare-up, it's just a reaction to one of his old knee injuries but I don't think it's bad from what we can make out," Miller said.


"It's not disastrous but we just have to be very wary of it and monitor it and we've produced a selection to cover that. Andrew knows himself how painful it is and whether he'll be able to compete, but it's a long series and we've got four more games to play so we've got to take that into consideration."


In the meantime, England's protagonist at Cardiff, Paul Collingwood, has shrugged off the jubiliation of England's great escape and has asked his mates to concentrate on making the improvements required to compete with Australia for the rest of the series.


Collingwood batted for 343 minutes to deliver one of the great defensive innings of recent years.


"There's a lot of areas that we need to improve on," stressed Collingwood. "We're very realistic as players and as a whole team and we have to improve our game.


"If we want to beat Australia we've got to be better than we were in those five days and we can take a lot of confidence from the last day, but we're not going to get carried away with ourselves.


"There were areas in the first innings with players getting in - and I was one of them - and not going on to make those big scores.


"Generally if you get a score of over 400 you get yourself into a good position but the Australians out-batted us, they stuck in, they made big runs and as a team they put us under pressure - we have to do better against them."


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