(CNN) -- England's Ashes cricket hopes have been given a boost with the news that key all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is likely to be fit for the must-win fifth Test match against Australia at The Oval.
All-rounder Flintoff is expected to be fit for his farewell England Test match against Australia at The Oval.
England coach Andy Flower and captain Andrew Strauss made the decision not to select Flintoff on the eve of the fourth Test at Headingley, concerned about his long-standing knee injury.
But his absence was cruelly exposed by Australia in just over seven sessions of play, as the tourists romped to an innings-and-80-runs victory to level the series at 1-1.
Now Flintoff should have the opportunity to end his Test career in thrilling fashion, having decided earlier this summer to retire from the five-day game at the end of the Ashes series.
An England statement said: "The advice received by a specialist on Monday was that the swelling in Flintoff's knee has significantly eased following the decision by the England management team to rest him from the last Test match.
"Subject to further rest and intensive treatment, he will be available for selection at the Oval."
Flintoff's Lancashire colleague James Anderson also underwent a scan on his hamstring -- after feeling a twinge when batting on the first day at Headingley -- which came back clear.
It means England should take on Australia in 10 days with their first-choice new-ball pairing.
Regarding Flintoff's Leeds omission, which has since come in for criticism, Flower told reporters:
"He wanted to play, he was desperate to play but he acknowledged that he wasn't fully fit and he was struggling a bit, so we couldn't play him under those circumstances."
England need to win the final Test to take the Ashes off holders Australia. A draw will be good enough for the tourists to retain the prize.