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Shoulder injury threatens end to Flintoff's boxing career

ESPN staff
December 20, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Andrew Flintoff could retire undefeated © PA Photos
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Andrew Flintoff's fledgling boxing career already appears to be on the ropes due to a serious shoulder injury.

Former cricketer Flintoff, who made his debut as a professional boxer with an unimpressive heavyweight victory over Richard Dawson last month, has a torn shoulder ligament which will require surgery - casting doubt on his prospects of a second career fight.

However, the results of Flintoff's training for his boxing career - which has left the former England allrounder fitter, stronger and leaner - have raised the prospect of the 35-year-old coming out of retirement to return to cricket, once his rehabilitation is complete.

"The injury to his shoulder will be taken into account but at this stage we are ruling nothing in and nothing out," said a spokesman for Flintoff. "It is a nasty one but he has had a lot nastier during his life.

"We will just wait and see and report back in the New Year and see where we go. There are certainly leads to chase."

The shoulder injury appears set to dash New Zealand batsman Jesse Ryder's hopes of facing Flintoff in an exhibition. Ryder won a charity bout earlier this year and had expressed interest in facing Flintoff in the ring.

"It would have to fit into a window that didn't have cricket on because he couldn't do both, particularly if he was playing for the Black Caps, but we haven't made that decision yet," Ryder's manager Aaron Klee told the New Zealand Herald.

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