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Top 5 sporting comebacks to inspire Andrew Flintoff

| 14.05.2014

Lancashire are now a 10/1 shot to win this year’s NatWest T20 Blast after reports revealed the county are in advanced talks to lure Andrew Flintoff out of retirement.

The Ashes hero is carrying an injury at present but is fully expected to make a spectacular comeback from retirement in a role that will see him play and mentor Lancashire’s younger cricketers.

Here we look at five great sporting comebacks to inspire Freddie.

Kim Clijsters

After landing the US Open in 2005 Clijsters’ career was cut short by injury just two years later.

However, after a two-year absence her tennis love affair was rekindled when preparing for an exhibition match at Wimbledon.

The Belgian ace secured a wildcard berth at the 2009 US Open and saw off the likes of Venus and Serena Williams, Li Na and Kirsten Flipkens en route to the final where she defeated Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets.

She defended her title in 2010 and added the 2011 Aussie Open to her CV before calling it a day on her “second career” in 2012.

George Foreman

GF

After losing his WBA and WBC Heavyweight titles to Muhammad Ali in the most famous fight of all time Foreman took a year out to weigh up his options.

He was inactive for all of 1975 but returned a year later to disastrous effect, losing to relative no-hoper Jimmy Young and falling in after the fight.

A 10 year hiatus then ensued by Foreman returned in 1987 to reel of 24 consecutive wins and two world title shots.

He failed to beat either Evander Holyfield or Tommy Morris but was given a final chance against Michael Moorer. In true Rocky fashion, behind on all cards going into the 10th, Foreman dug deep and delivers a crushing right to regain the WBA strap after 20 years.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

A tortured soul at times, O’Sullivan appears to fall out of love with Snooker – or at least the game’s politics – on regular occasions.

This was most evident after he secured his fourth World Championship title in 2012. The Rocket at first refused to sign up for competition and even when he finally relented his comeback was short lived.

The Essex potter soon withdrew from all competition and only returned at the end of the season to defend his World Championship crown.

Despite his lengthy absence and lack of competition, wins over Marcus Campbell, Ali Carter, Stuart Bingham, Judd Trump and Barry Hawkins saw him crowned king for a fifth time without ever trailing a match at the tournament!

Michael Jordan

Basketball’s biggest ever star bid farewell to the game in 1993 to fulfil his late father’s wish of playing professional baseball.

The Chicago Bulls suffered in his absence, going 31-31 by mid March and MJ decided to make a comeback, stating simply in a press conference: “I’m back”.

He spurred the Bulls on the playoffs but they lost at the semi-final stage to Orlando.

This only increased MJ’s hunger though and in the 1995-96 season he top scored for the Bulls as they set a new regular season record of 72-10 en route the fourth of Jordan’s six Championship titles.

Juan Sebastian Veron

JSV

Veron divided opinion during his time in England but with major honours picked up with Parma, Lazio, Manchester United, Inter Milan and Estudiantes there is no denying the Argentine’s talent.

The ‘Little Witch’ bid farewell to the game to the rapturous applause of Estuidantes fans in 2012 and turned his back on the professional ranks by turning out for amateur outfit Bransden.

However, Estudiantes have always been able to pull on Veron’s heartstrings and he was persuaded to add a playing role to his Director of Sport position at the start f the current campaign.

He is doing more than making up the numbers though, running the midfield in 21 games so far this season and with the club holding down a top 10 spot.

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Author

James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.