England fast bowler Jofra Archer is expected to undergo elbow surgery on Friday, which will rule him out of action for a significant period, including possibly at least some portion of the home Test series against India.
"Jofra Archer has been reviewed by a medical consultant in respect of his right elbow soreness. He will now proceed to surgery,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stated.
Archer has had the elbow problem for well more than a year now, starting from the time he had to pull out of the Cape Town Test in January last year. He had been taking cortisone injections to manage the injury, but again felt enough pain recently to not be able to bowl much in a County Championship match for Sussex against Kent.
Archer had hoped to test his fitness for his county side ahead of England’s two-match Test series against New Zealand in June.
It will be the second surgery Archer will have in recent times, following an operation to remove a shard of glass from the middle finger of his right hand, a fallout of a freak injury suffered at home while cleaning a fish tank.
Archer had already missed the Indian T20 League for Rajasthan this year. The decision to have surgery now will further extend his time away from the field, although England bowling coach Jon Lewis does not think it will hamper Archer in the long term.
"At the moment, he has a bit of an impingement in his elbow," Lewis told The Guardian. "A lot of fast bowlers get it in their ankle, so it's comparable but a different part of the body. Put a lot of pressure and flexion through any joint, it will take a bashing. But bowlers come through ankle impingements. I don't foresee it being a long-term major issue.
"From what I understand, either short term or long term, his elbow will recover. I would expect him to play a lot more international cricket for England. This is just a small blip on his journey," Lewis added.
Featured image : AFP / Alastair Grant