Yorkshire seamer Tim Bresnan has revealed his career could have been over when he went under the knife earlier this year but insists he is now 100% fit and ready for action.
Bresnan has been dogged by an elbow complaint for the past two and a half years, originally having surgery on the issue in December 2011.
He continued to experience discomfort and decided to undergo a second operation over the winter, ruling him out of the tour of New Zealand.
Though it was a relatively straightforward procedure, Bresnan admits it was one was that could have forced him to retire.
When asked whether he feared for his career ahead of the operation, Bresnan said: "I think you do. A couple of hours before the op, it's like 'Well, this could go one of two ways.
“I might never play for England again, or play cricket again, or I might be back better than ever. You've got to weigh up that risk and then just sort of decide 'Yep, eff it' and get on with it really.”
Thankfully for the 28-year-old everything went to plan and he was able to take part in pre-season training with Yorkshire before returning to competitive action in April.
He earned a recall to the England squad for the return Test series with New Zealand, with the first Test at Lord’s due to start next Thursday. The Cricket betting odds again place the hosts as heavy favourites, just as they were in the reverse series earlier this year, which resulted in a0-0 draw.
Speaking after meeting up with his international team mates ahead of the first England v New Zealand Test, Bresnan added: "I probably lost three or four yards. But I feel as though I've got that back. I can sit here and say whatever...but it's just as easy to show you.
"I'd love to play. I'm down here. I'm not here to carry the drinks. I'm here to play in the game, throw my hat in the ring for selection. The next two practice days will probably tell the management a lot about where I'm at and what I can do.”