Cricket - Bresnan happy to be playing again

England bowler Tim Bresnan is confident he is back to his best after one of the toughest decisions of his life to go through with a second elbow operation.

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Cricket - Bresnan happy to be playing again
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Tim Bresnan is glad to be back in the mix after having an elbow operation

The stakes cannot get much higher for a professional sportsman than an international seamer putting the joint in his bowling arm in for a 'make-or-break' surgery. Thankfully for the 28-year-old Yorkshireman, the snap is back in his action for the first time since before he first had an operation to try to cure the problem back in December 2011.

The "three or four yards" of pace he suggests he probably lost as a result of the injury are restored - and all Bresnan needs now is the chance to demonstrate it in the first Investec Test against New Zealand at Lord's.

That, of course, might turn out to be the hardest part in the immediate term - because Bresnan's inclusion in England's 12-man squad is, on the face of it, as back-up to the three incumbent seamers ahead of him.

Whether he makes the cut or not, though, he is just delighted to know he will do himself justice if selected. Scroll back three and a half months to the moments just before he went under the knife in America and, even Bresnan admits, he had inevitable doubts about his playing future.

"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."

The consensus was that the bustling Bresnan was a yard down on pace the last time he played for his country although he disagrees.

"I probably lost three or four yards. But I feel as though I've got that back," he said. "I can sit here and say whatever...but it's just as easy to show you."

"The next two practice days will probably tell the management, Cookie, a lot about where I'm at and what I can do," Bresnan added.

"I wouldn't be surprised at all if the net rota goes up and I'm bowling at him. That's one of the things that Andy (Flower) likes to do. But I'm just happy to be back playing cricket...pain free, and somewhere like the best of my ability. It doesn't matter who I bowl at in the nets."

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