Flintoff gets green light to play in Ashes finale

WOUNDED England received the perfect pick-me-up last night after being told talismanic all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will be fit for the decisive fifth Ashes Test at The Oval next week.<br /><br />Flintoff, 31, was controversially left out of the fourth Test at Headingley at the weekend and was sorely missed as England crashed to Australia by an innings and 80 runs.<br /><br />But the benefit of that extra rest ensured the Lancastrian was given the all-clear by knee specialist Andy Williams to play in next Thursday&rsquo;s clash &ndash; provided he continues his treatment and gets sufficient rest.<br /><br />Flintoff&rsquo;s agent Andrew Chandler claimed the all-rounder had declared himself fit to play in Leeds last week, but was overruled by captain Andrew Strauss and England coach Andy Flower. Chandler said he had &ldquo;never seen anybody as low&rdquo; as Flintoff after being told he was not playing.<br /><br />That decision was once again defended by chairman of selectors Geoff Miller yesterday, but Flintoff has now put that disappointment behind him and is concentrating solely on winning back the Ashes at The Oval next week for what will be his last Test before he retires from the five-day game.<br /><br />An ECB statement confirmed: &ldquo;The advice received was that the swelling in his knee has significantly eased following the decision by the England management team to rest him from the last Test match and that subject to further rest and intensive treatment, he will be available for selection.&rdquo;<br /><br />Flintoff&rsquo;s county team-mate James Anderson also underwent a scan on his injured hamstring yesterday but results revealed no serious damage.