England cricket hero, Andrew Flintoff, fills us in with the graphic details of his latest knee operation and through a morphine induced haze, recollects what he can of a correctly predicted England Ashes triumph that he watched in hospital, in the final instalment of Fred's Blog...
Well, it’s been a long week! As you may have heard, I had to go into hospital for a surgical procedure because my knee has been getting worse for a while now and it had become painful to walk – it felt like I had one leg longer than the other!
So, I went in again and this time it was major surgery to straighten my leg and to do that they had to smash my tibia and take a wedge of bone out of that and replace it with some bone from my hip and shin. Then they put a titanium clamp in from my knee down to my shin to keep it all in a straight line to grow back.
Out of all the surgery I’ve had – and I’ve had a lot – this was the worst and the surgeon did warn me about how slow it was going to be and the after effects.
I spent three days in hospital just after the New Year and I had to spend that time on a morphine drip. I tried to go without it for a while, but the pain was excruciating and I’d have to keep topping up! I also had morphine painkiller tablets to go with it, so I was dosed up to the maximum.
I’ve been told that I’ll be on crutches for three months while the whole thing heals, because effectively I’ve got a broken leg, so I won’t be doing anything too exciting for a while.
Because I couldn’t really sleep, I did manage to watch a fair bit of the last Test match in a morphine haze, which helped pass the time a bit over the first few days.
I was cheered up a bit by England’s win and by my pre-series predictions of a 3-1 England win and Cooky and Jimmy [Anderson] being top run scorer and wicket taker being proven correct.
I did have a little bet on it, so I was happy about that, although from time to time I did consider the irony of being in hospital in a right state, watching the cricket while it was because of playing cricket that I was there in the first place.
Anyway, it was a great win for the lads. They completely outplayed the Aussies and were streets ahead in all departments of the game.
As for Australia, well, I’m not sure where they go from here. Perhaps Ricky Ponting will stay on and bring through some younger players, like Allan Border did towards the end of his career.
For him that will be far harder than captaining the glory side of Warne, McGrath etc, but whether he wants to is a different question.
In other news, my latest TV show, Freddie Flintoff Versus The World (nice title eh?) kicks off on ITV4 in a couple of weeks. I had fun filming it and I hope people like it. I put my neck on the line a few times with some of the stuff I did and I hope it comes across well on the TV. (That's me and Darren Gough pictured above at the wrestling in Mexico)
We did all sorts of extreme sports on the show. I think it was 21 different things in seven shows, like wrestling, kayaking, wing-walking, bull riding, drag racing, motocross and I was a bit out of my comfort zone, but it was fun and as long as people enjoy watching it that’s the main thing.
So, that’s about all from Fred’s Blog for a while. I’ll be laid up for some time by the looks of things, but will be OK to film the next series of A League of Their Own at the end of February.
I obviously can’t wait to hobble into the Sky studio on crutches, get a few questions wrong and have the piss taken out of me by James Corden! I do enjoy doing the show though and I’ll probably be glad to get out and about after months of recuperating.
All the best,