London:Andrew Flintoff admits he still does not know when he will make his long-awaited comeback from knee surgery.
Flintoff has been troubled by knee problems for years and retired from Test cricket after helping England win the Ashes against Australia last year.
But the all-rounder still hopes to play one-day matches for his country and had an operation on his left knee soon after the Ashes triumph in a bid to cure the latest problem.
However, initial hopes that he could be fit to play for Lancashire at the start of this season had to be revised following further surgery in January.
Now the 32-year-old hopes to be batting again in practice this month or early in May, while his updated timetable of recovery remains to play again for his county by the end of July, with a view to returning in limited-overs cricket for England in due course.
Speaking at Lancashire's media day today, Flintoff said: "It's going all right. The first five weeks since the latest operation have been just resting, letting it all settle down.
"The past three or four weeks I've been able to work pretty hard, cycling, swimming, kayaking. I've got a bit of strength back in my legs.
"I've not got a date that I can just pull out of the air. But after the last operation we said five or six months, which is going to take us to the end of July, early August.
"So that's the only time frame. I've not done any cricket yet but over the next few weeks I'll get a bat back in my hand."
Despite his injury woes, Flintoff still believes he can recapture his best form when he finally gets back in action, even though he admits he has feared at times that his career could be over.
"Before every operation, it does cross your mind," he said. "However, I've always said that while I feel I can play I will do. If I feel I can play as well as I did before I was injured then I'll carry on.
"That's still the case. I still think I can come back and perform for Lancashire, at the highest level as well. I just have to do it.
"I'm confident of doing that. There's a lot of things I can improve on as a cricketer.
"If I can just find my game a little bit more, and adapt my game to what's going on in the world of cricket, I don't see any reason why not.
"I've retired from Test cricket obviously and originally I was going to play one-dayers and Twenty20s.
"But if I feel strong enough and get in the (Lancashire) team it would be nice to (play for England again)."
Flintoff joined the rest of the Lancashire playing staff at Old Trafford today but will be back in Dubai by the end of this week until the medical experts give him the all-clear to step up his bid for match fitness.
His Middle East home appears to be a help as he continues his recovery, several thousand miles away from the debate over whether he will add to his 148 limited-overs caps for England.
"Where I'm living at the moment, I'm blissfully unaware of what people are saying," he said.
"The one thing I'm trying to get fit for is to play cricket. That's something I'm desperately trying to do.
"It's never been particularly easy coming back, but there's always been the incentive to do so," he added.
"I get out of bed and do my training. It's become part of my life, with all the injuries I've had in the past three or four years, so I just get on with it."