Prior set for surgery
Matt Prior has revealed he will undergo surgery on a long-standing Achilles problem next month and anticipates he will face a long period of recovery.
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The wicketkeeper-batsman took a break from his England commitments last month in a bid to get back to full fitness, with surgery on his Achilles a clear priority although the 32-year-old added he had a torn quad and an injured hand.
His position in the national set-up had come under considerable scrutiny after below-par performances with both gloves and bat against India this summer, with his place for the final three Tests going to Jos Buttler.
However, Prior, who has been one of England's key performers in recent years, has not given up hope of representing his country again, but acknowledges he faces "a long road back".
"I'm still hurt, I've seen the specialists and surgeons and everything else. I'm having an operation on September 4 on my Achilles," said Prior in an interview with ESPNcricinfo. "My Achilles has been the main issue, it's been pretty bad, to be honest.
"It's not the end, but there is a long road back and it starts from September 4 with four months of rehab to get as fit as I possibly can.
"It was a massive decision, but I went as long as I could. It's been shown by specialists that I couldn't physically have gone on any longer. So it's now time to get it right, get fit again and come back stronger."
Prior, who earned the first of 79 England Test caps against the West Indies in 2007, believes his replacement as wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler has settled well into the side after scoring half-centuries in his only two innings.
"I think he's done brilliantly," added Prior. "The one thing he has done that is massive for keepers is scoring runs. When you're scoring runs it takes pressure off your wicketkeeping.
"Jos has done brilliantly and good luck to him."