England desperate to resolve Jofra Archer issue ‘once and for all’ with Ben Stokes on track for early return

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Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer celebrate a wicket (Getty Images for ECB)
Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer celebrate a wicket (Getty Images for ECB)

England have provided an update on the fitness of crucial all-format duo Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, who will miss the upcoming Test series against New Zealand with injury.

The news regarding Stokes, who came home early from the Indian Premier League with a broken finger, is rather more optimistic than Archer. He never made it to the IPL due to an elbow injury, and saw his comeback for Sussex aborted midway through the match.

Archer will see a consultant this week to determine whether he requires surgery, with England coach Chris Silverwood saying “we need to get this resolved once and for all”.

“He struggled in Sussex’s Championship fixture last week and he wasn’t able to bowl on the final two days of the match,” said Silverwood. “We need to get this resolved once and for all to give him the best chance of being fully fit as we build up to an intense winter, which will include a T20 World Cup and the Ashes. We need him firing in all formats of the game.”

Stokes could be back playing T20 cricket for Durham next month, meaning he would be back sooner than the initial three-month prognosis suggested.

“Ben Stokes is making excellent progress following his fractured left index finger sustained last month in the IPL,” said Silverwood. “If he continues to improve without any impact on his rehabilitation, we could see him return next month for Durham in the Vitality Blast competition. We will assess him again towards the end of this month.”

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