MICHAEL VAUGHAN marked his recall to England's one-day squad today by insisting he had not been a distraction to their disappointing Ashes campaign.
The former England captain has been rehabilitating in Australia from another operation on his injured right knee, training and playing mainly with the Academy to enable the selectors to name him in the 16-man squad to face New Zealand and Australia in the New Year's triangular tournament.
His presence around the squad, particularly during the third Test when the Academy and senior squads were all based in Perth, has prompted some critics to claim his presence has been disruptive.
But Vaughan, who played in the two-day match against Western Australia which preceded the Test without batting, insisted today that he had attempted to keep out of the way of the senior squad for that very reason.
"It's been frustrating because I want to be involved and playing, but I really have tried to stay as far away from it as I can," said Vaughan.
"I know some people have said I've been a distraction but I haven't really been around the grounds.
"I've been in Perth working with the Academy and medical team there and I've enjoyed being around groups of lads aspiring to play for England. Hopefully being with them, a little bit of my input will help their careers as well."
Vaughan's inclusion in England's one-day plans will be determined by how he fares in two matches for the MCC over the next couple of weeks, one in Melbourne and another at Bowral - the birthplace of Sir Don Bradman - next week to test his fitness.
But he is confident his troublesome knee injury can stand up to the twisting and turning required for one-day international cricket and is hopeful he can make his first appearance for England at this level since facing Australia at the Oval 17 months ago.
"The amount of times I've seen surgeons, the operations which I've had on the knee and the work I've had to do to get to this stage, there were always little periods where I didn't think I was going to get to represent my country again," he admitted.
Vaughan did not train with the senior squad today, who practised in the nets before showers forced them to retreat to the gym as they consider their options for the next Test at the MCG on Boxing Day.
England are considering the position of under-fire wicketkeeper Geraint Jones, who trained with the slip cordon, while Sajid Mahmood may lose his place to give spinner Jamie Dalrymple his Test debut.