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Freddie's fitness in doubt (again)

Once again Andrew Flintoff could be a doubt for the next Ashes test, after the injury to his right knee flared up during the stalemate at Edgbaston. The all-rounder bowled only 11 overs during Australia’s comfortable batting performance yesterday and took no wickets, and if he doesn’t recover in time for the Headingly test on Thursday, Steve Harmison might get a recall to the national side.

‘It's one of those situations where if Fred's fit to play, we'll play him, and if he's not then we won't,’ said England captain Andrew Strauss. ‘The Headingley Test is massive. If we win there, then we win the Ashes.

‘We want to play our best team in every game we play, but we've got to be conscious that if he's not fit enough to do his job then he won't play. The key is how sore his knee is on Thursday. It comes down to how he feels with his own body. He's got to be honest about that and he has been so far.

‘He's obviously desperate to play in these last two games. I think he realises that if he's not fit he can't help us. There's been a lot of talk about it but we're still optimistic he'll be fine.’

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