Ashley Giles is fit to take his place on this winter’s Ashes tour.
The England and Wales Cricket Board yesterday confirmed that the Warwickshire 33-year-old orthodox left-arm spin bowler had recovered sufficiently after hip surgery to join the rest of Andrew Flintoff’s squad when they fly to Australia on Friday.
Giles, who continued his rehabilitation in India during the past month in company with England’s Champions’ Trophy squad, returned with them to the United Kingdom on Sunday.
He has been unable to play for his country this year, after suffering a recurrence of hip trouble while touring Pakistan last autumn.
England team physiotherapist Kirk Russell said: "Ashley has been through a tough time but he worked extremely hard in India and the medical team is very pleased with the progress he has made.
"He bowled for extended periods in the nets, completed all the drills we set him without any reaction and is now fully fit and able to take his place in the Ashes squad."
Chairman of selectors David Graveney added: "It’s excellent news that Ashley has come through the final stage of his rehabilitation programme and is available again for selection.
"He played an important role in helping England regain the Ashes in 2005 and I am sure that he will be keen to make an impact in Australia this winter."
Giles, one of two specialist spinners alongside Monty Panesar in the squad, said: "It’s been a long, hard road back for me and I am grateful to the staff at the National Cricket Centre who helped with my rehabilitation and to the England team management for giving me the opportunity to go to India and work with the one-day squad.
"It was always my goal to be fit in time for the Ashes tour and now that the moment has arrived, I am really looking forward to being part of the Test squad again."
Meanwhile, Graveney said there was no question of England prioritising Test match success over limited-overs fortunes. An online survey this week revealed that more than 91 per cent of England cricket followers would rather see the team retain the Ashes than win the World Cup, while the disparity in England’s performances in the two principal formats has widened dramatically in the modern era.
However, former England captain Geoffrey Boycott suggested the problem lies in a lack of regard among the players for one-day cricket.
Graveney said: "Nobody is sitting on their hands and not rating one-day cricket as important as Test match cricket. "People are not just dismissing the way we have played and the statistics we have from the last 20-odd games. We continue to work on it and try to find the right combinations."