Paul Collingwood returns from knee injury

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PAUL Collingwood says he has won the battle of wounded knee and is now free to concentrate on strengthening Durham’s firepower and pushing for an England recall.

The 35-year-old is determined to prove there is still plenty of top-class cricket remaining in him as he bids for an Indian summer to a superb career after surgery on a long-standing knee complaint.

Colly was yesterday wearing an ice-pack on the knee which required an operation to repair and a seven-week lay-off to heal, but he told the Echo: “That’s just a precautionary thing after an hour’s fitness session. The fact is, the knee feels brilliant, fantastic.

“I walked out of the operation and for the first five weeks wasn’t allowed to bend it past 60 degrees, so that’s the frustrating time when you can’t do too much.

“But the rehab since then has been superb, 100 per cent, and I’m feeling springy on my feet again and ready to push on. I can’t wait to be honest and I’m glad there’s a busy cricketing schedule coming up.

“These are very important weeks for me now.

“I want to get into the best form possible and that’s all I’m focusing on.”

The goal for Collingwood is to win selection for England’s one-day internationals later this summer but along the way there’s a desire to do everything he can for his home county.

“Look, England know what I can do if I’m at my best and so that’s what I’m going for,” he said. “I want to get back into the one-day side and the Twenty20 team too.

“If that doesn’t happen then, well I’ve played exactly 300 games for England and that’s fantastic. If it has to end on 300 on the dot then I’ll be satisfied with that.

“But I still believe I’ve got something to contribute and I’m hungry for more.

“In the meantime though I want to do my very best for Durham. I think that’s a win-win situation for Durham and hopefully for England.

“I’m looking forward to playing for the county a lot more and hopefully giving something back.”