Having undergone elbow surgery, England speedster Jofra Archer is facing a race against time to be fit for the first of the five-Test series against India, scheduled to get underway on August 4.
On Wednesday (May 26), the ECB confirmed that Archer had undergone surgery last Friday to address his longstanding elbow problem.
“Archer will now commence an intensive rehabilitation period working with the ECB and Sussex medical teams. His progress will be reviewed by his consultant in approximately four weeks at which point further guidance will be provided as to when he can return to bowling,” ECB said in a statement.
It was the same injury that ruled him out of next month’s home Test series against New Zealand, and England would now be hoping that their ace pacer recovers in time for the Test series against India.
However, there will be limited opportunities for Archer in competitive four-day cricket before facing India.
According to ESPNcricinfo, Jofra Archer’s county side Sussex are slated to play two County Championship games and their final five matches of the T20 Blast group stage in early July, but no first-class cricket is due to be held in England between July 14 and the start of the India series.
While Archer might feature in the inaugural season of the Hundred for Southern Brave, it may not be enough to gauge his fitness level for a Test series.
Archer was struggling with the elbow issue for quite some time. During the India tour earlier this year, he featured in two of England's four Tests, all five T20Is and missed the three-match ODI series because of the same injury. He missed several matches during England’s tours of South Africa in 2020 as well.
The elbow trouble also forced him to pull out of the IPL 2021, which has now been postponed due to COVID-19 cases inside bio-bubbles.
After the injury lay-off, Jofra Archer returned to action for Sussex against Kent earlier this month. While he registered the figures of 2/29 in the first innings, he could only bowl 5 overs in Kent’s second essay and complained of a sore elbow.
(Inputs from ESPNcricinfo)