Jofra Archer’s injury-affected IPL stint continued as he sat out a fourth successive Mumbai Indians game but the England seamer is expected to remain in India and make his comeback later this month.
Archer has spent much of the last two years on the operating table or in recovery, leading to concerns over his ongoing absence in India and Ashes anxiety for England fans.
The 28-year-old bowled his four-over allocation in Mumbai’s tournament opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore but has not been seen since after experiencing discomfort in his right elbow – the very joint which has caused his long lay-off and led to two bouts of surgery.
Even if he is successful, Archer’s recent setback has dented confidence that he will be play a major role in this summer’s hotly-anticipated series against Australia.
Sussex indicated ahead of the county season that Archer may not play any first-class cricket for them before the Ashes, and the difference in workload between T20 and Test cricket is dramatic.
England captain Ben Stokes has also spent more time on the sidelines than playing for Chennai Super Kings as he continues to manage his longstanding left knee problems.
But it is understood that he is progressing well and may make the XI for their next match on Friday.
Both Stokes, who was crowned as Wisden’s leading men’s cricketer in the world for the third time this week, and head coach Brendon McCullum have vowed that his IPL gig would not compromise his ability to perform at full capacity in the Ashes.
Stokes has spoken on several occasions about his frustration at being forced into a reduced role with the ball over the past 12 months and is working towards featuring as a fully functioning all-rounder as he looks to wrestle back the urn.