England fast bowler Jofra Archer has been cleared to return to training, it was announced Tuesday, after he had surgery to remove a fragment of glass from his finger last month.
But just how much of a part the Sussex quick will play in this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League remains uncertain.
Archer, 26, suffered the injury when he smashed a fish tank while trying to clean it. He played two Tests and all five Twenty20s during England’s recent tour of India but was ruled out of the one-day series because of a problem with his right elbow.
Both those injuries led to Archer’s absence from the early stages of the IPL, where he is reigning most valuable player, and on an £800,000 ($1.1 million) contract with Rajasthan Royals.
England, however, hope the multi-format star will be able to up his bowling “intensity” from next week.
An England and Wales Cricket Board statement said: “England and Sussex bowler Jofra Archer has been given the all-clear by his hand consultant to resume training after his right hand continues to heal following his operation on Monday 29 March.
“He will return to light training this week, working closely with the Sussex and England men’s medical teams. It is hoped that he will be able to up his intensity with his bowling from next week.
“A further update on his elbow injury will be provided once he has returned to bowling to assess the effectiveness of his recent injection. No decision has been made as yet on when Archer is due to return to playing.”
Kumar Sangakkara, the Royals’ director of cricket and a former Sri Lanka captain, said recently the franchise would not risk Archer’s fitness in a year where England will want him playing in both the T20 World Cup and the Ashes.
“His value to world cricket and to England cricket is always part of our decision-making process and we are always guided by the experts in English cricket who look after Jofra to guide us on how we could support that journey,” insisted Sangakkara.
“It’s not something we look at selfishly in terms of playing in the IPL.
“We understand the value of Jofra and we take a holistic view of how important Jofra is not just to our cause but to England cricket and world cricket as well.”
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