JAMES Vince is hoping to be fit for England Lions selection in the new year – after undergoing surgery on both knees.

The Hampshire star has had a double knee arthroscopy since returning from South Africa, following the Royals’ Champions League exit.

It was to discover the extent of a condition that caused him pain throughout Hampshire’s remarkable domestic season.

“I had pain in my knees for 12 months,” he reveals. “Nothing would stop me playing and it was especially sore after four-day games when the schedule was busy.

“But nothing was showing up on the scans so they just wanted to have a look inside to see what was going on.

“I can’t pronounce the name of the condition [Chondromalacia Patellae] but don’t need further surgery. It’s caused by soft cartilage in the knee and is just something you’re born with.

“It’s just unfortunate that my knees are like that. But with a good bit of rest hopefully it will just go away over time and the knees will be okay for the new year.”

Vince will miss the England Performance Programme’s training camp in India next month, but hopes to be in the Lions squad that tours Australia in February.

He said: “I’ve been pleased with the start to my career but need to be pushing for regular England Lions places.

“If I can perform well there, England’s my main goal. It’s a long way away but something I’m aiming towards.”

Meanwhile, Hampshire’s Neil McKenzie plays for the Highveld Lions in today’s Champions League final against Michael Lumb’s Sydney Sixers.

Read the full interview with James Vince in today's Sports Pink