Freddie Flintoff’s friend explains star’s absence following ‘horrific’ injuries
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One of Freddie Flintoff's mates has spoken about his decision to stay out of the spotlight following his horror crash.
And since then, he's been recovering in private, seen in public for the first time in almost a year during England's one day series against New Zealand last month.
Speaking to LBC about Flintoff, Steve Harmison said his injuries were 'pretty horrific'.
"I saw him during his rehab and his son and my son played cricket together and Andrew was just starting to come out of the house and back into the world," the former bowler said.
"We all knew the love and affection for him would be there, but it's easier said than done for someone in his position.
"For me, that was the hardest part - everybody said it would be great to see him in cricket again, but he didn't want to come out in public.
"The minute he did, we knew that he really wanted to."
Explaining why his old teammate took a step back over the past few months, Harmison said it was just about recovering as best he could.
He told the outlet that Flintoff had obviously been through an incredibly traumatic event and needed the time.
"It was about his own confidence, and it was great to see him back with a smile on his face," he said.
"He's gone through a hell of a lot, he really has. It was a huge ordeal and nobody can understand what somebody goes through inside.
"Having suffered from mental health issues, I know that people who don't understand will try to give advice, and that can cause more harm than help.
"Andrew has probably had loads of people wishing him well and asking how he is, but sometimes that's harmful.
"Andrew needed his own time, he's taken it, and now he's back. It's brilliant to see. Some of the injuries he had were pretty horrific."
Since the incident, questions have been raised over health and safety standards on Top Gear.
A review is currently being undertaken by the BBC as the decision on what to do about the popular programme is yet to be announced.
Speaking to GB News, he said: "So not to lose the thrill of good presenters on there - sure, you can have them go fast, but it would appear to me as if they're going to need better procedures there.
"Maybe from somebody from my background, even working with presenters to just say, 'Look guys, this is the wrong time, a wrong place to go quickly,' because something's happened in that accident.
"We've not been told about it, but judging by Freddie's injuries, it appears to me that the car has maybe gone upside down. And then it's a question of what kind of crash helmet was he using. Because I would never advocate going out with a half-face crash on it. It would always be a full-face crash helmet.
“I think it was a crash helmet situation with Freddie and sadly that is something I personally would have spotted from the outside."