Jofra Archer in Ashes injury scare as England bowler drops out of IPL

Pace has been struggling with elbow problem and made just five appearances for Mumbai Indians this season

Jofra Archer bowling for England during the third ODI against Bangladesh at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, in Chittagong, on March 6, 2023. Getty
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The injury problems of Jofra Archer show no sign of easing after the England fast-bowler pulled out of the Indian Premier League due to concerns over his right elbow.

Archer, who has experienced relentless injury setbacks since exploding on to the international scene in 2019, has been playing through discomfort during the latest IPL season with Mumbai Indians.

The 28-year-old has made just five appearances for Mumbai this year, taking two wickets.

The IPL outfit tweeted: “Chris Jordan will join the MI squad for the rest of the season. Chris replaces Jofra Archer, whose recovery and fitness continues to be monitored by ECB. Jofra will return home to focus on his rehabilitation.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board later confirmed Archer’s immediate return from the IPL, saying it has been “challenging” for him to attempt to play on through the injury.

An ECB statement added: “Archer has been recovering from right elbow surgery. However, pushing through the discomfort while recently playing, hoping it will settle, has proven challenging. Therefore, it has been agreed for him to return to the UK for a period of rest and rehabilitation to give him the best opportunity for a full recovery.

“The ECB would like to thank the Mumbai Indians for their support and co-operation during this time.

“Archer will return to the UK this week and will work on his rehab with the ECB medical department and Sussex County Cricket Club, respectively.”

England’s medical team have been working closely with their counterparts in Mumbai, with Archer still only a few months into his comeback following stress fractures to his elbow and then his back.

He put in some encouraging performances on his England return in the white-ball tours of South Africa and Bangladesh, leading to suggestions he could have a starring role in this summer’s Ashes series.

It means Archer faces a race against time to be fit for the first match against Australia taking place at Edgbaston from June 16-20. His last Test match appearance was against India in Ahmedabad in February 2021.

The latest setback could also make Archer a doubt for England's defence of their ODI World Cup crown with the tournament taking place in India between October and November.

Barbados-born Archer played a key role in England winning its first 50-over world title in 2019 on home soil and then starred in the home Ashes series later that year in what was his first taste of Test cricket.

Archer has been keen to play down expectations and said when he was out in Bangladesh recently: “If I can play one [Ashes] game this summer, I’ll be happy. If I play more than one, that’s just a bonus.”

Updated: May 09, 2023, 12:59 PM