Jofra Archer ruled out of T20 World Cup AND The Ashes in Australia after England bowler suffers recurrence of stress fracture in right elbow sidelining him until 2022
- Jofra Archer suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from surgery in May
- Archer’s return to bowling programme following surgery stalled last month
- England had hoped to see him make a case for a return against India
- But the ECB has now confirmed the quick bowler will be sidelined until 2022
Jofra Archer will miss England’s two huge winter assignments of the Twenty20 World Cup and Ashes following a recurrence of a stress fracture of his right elbow.
As Sportsmail exclusively revealed earlier this week, the 2019 World Cup star suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from elbow surgery on May 21 and the ECB has confirmed he will be sidelined until 2022.
The operation to remove a bone fragment from the joint had been timed to allow the 26-year-old Sussex fast bowler to make a case for a return to action towards the end of the five-match Test series against India which began on Wednesday at Trent Bridge – or at the least have him match ready for the quest to add a Twenty20 world title to the 50-over one his outstanding bowling helped secure two years ago.
Jofra Archer will miss England’s huge winter assignments of the T20 World Cup and Ashes
Joe Root and England were hoping for Archer to make a case for selection towards the end of the India series
However, his return to bowling programme stalled last month after he sent down three overs in a Vitality Blast win over Kent and then six more overs in a one-day friendly versus Oxfordshire two days later.
Archer had been lined up to play in Sussex’s Royal London Cup campaign to increase his workloads with Test cricket in mind but was sent for scans instead after reporting pain in the troublesome joint.
‘In response to these findings, he has been ruled out for the rest of the year and will miss the current LV= Insurance Test series against India, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and the Ashes series in Australia,’ confirmed an ECB spokesperson.
The ECB clarified that the operation Archer underwent earlier this summer is not related to the stress fracture that sidelined the player in South Africa in early 2020, and that he will be reviewed this autumn.
Archer’s loss will be keenly felt by England across all formats: he is arguably the world’s best short format fast bowler, winning the Indian Premier League’s MVP award last year, and possesses the pace and bounce to provide Joe Root’s Test team in Australian conditions.
However, his return to bowling programme stalled after bowling against Kent and Oxfordshire
Archer discussed the injury with a consultant on Wednesday and long-term rest was recommended in a bid for a player who set the international stage alight in his maiden summer of 2019 to regain full fitness and rediscover his very best form.
In a recent Sportsmail column, Archer refused to set a return date, saying any appearances for England this summer would be a bonus. In contrast, the ECB hoped he would be in contention for the second or third Tests against India, starting on August 12 and 25, at Lord’s and Headingley, respectively.
Initial progress during eight weeks of rehabilitation was good and he appeared against Kent on July 18, only to say he felt a month away from being 100%.
Subsequently lined up to play a part in Sussex’s RLC campaign to build up his workloads, with Test cricket in mind, the discomfort he felt in the joint during the tour of India earlier this year resurfaced.
The news follows an admission by the ECB last week that the finger Ben Stokes fractured, in dropping Chris Gayle in his first appearance for Rajasthan Royals in the 2021 Indian Premier League, had not fully healed before he was rushed back into action for Durham and England.
The discomfort he felt in the joint during the tour of India earlier this year has resurfaced
As a result, the 30-year-old is now resting the damaged digit while taking an ‘indefinite break’ from cricket to protect his mental well-being.
It leaves two of England’s multi-format players sidelined (Archer permanently so) as they enter a huge six-month period that concludes in Perth on January 18 next year – another bowler in Chris Woakes is also on the injured list with a heel problem.
Archer began the 2021 summer combining rest treatment with cortisone injections in a bid to put the persistent problems with his right elbow behind him.
But he broke down after contributing 18 overs in a County Championship draw with Kent in mid-May. Surgery took place just days later.
Archer was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right elbow while on a tour of South Africa two winters ago and has suffered intermittently since, particularly in Test cricket which demands ‘effort’ deliveries to be bowled regularly. Limited-overs cricket’s variations of slower balls and other pace-off deliveries allowed him to play through the pain.
Ben Stokes was also rushed back into England duty when his finger injury had not healed
In his mid-20s, Archer should be at the peak of his pace-bowling powers, although Mahela Jayawardene, his head coach at Southern Brave, envisages a time ahead when he reduces the number of formats he plays.
‘At some point it is a discussion to be had. If I go back with Lasith Malinga, we had a similar story. He came in, was brilliant for us in all formats but in 2010-11 we had to make a call,’ former Sri Lanka captain Jayawardene told Sportsmail on the eve of the Hundred.
‘We said he needed to stop playing red-ball cricket because it was too much strain on his body. It was to prolong his white-ball career for us, and for himself as well. It was a very good decision – after about six years of red-ball cricket – and that actually helped us to keep him until the 2019 World Cup.
‘Those are conversations for Jof and everyone else to have. To see how best they can manage him going forward.’
Another bowler in Chris Woakes is also on the injured list with a heel problem
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