Jofra Archer has surprised the cricket world after undergoing elbow surgery a few months out from the Ashes. Ben Stokes recently highlighted the importance of keeping Archer fit for the Ashes with the fast-bowler offering the X-factor for the home side's bowling line-up.
But in surprise news, the bowler underwent surgery during his 19 days on the sideline for his Indian Premier League club the Mumbai Indians, according to the UK Telegraph. He returned for the Indians against the Punjab Kings and didn't look hampered after the setback as he sent down 144km/h deliveries at the batters.
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However, the Englishman was left out of their line-up in the latest clash against the Gujarat Titans. The move would have worried the England camp with Archer undergoing his fifth surgery in 25 months.
His right elbow has caused him trouble and has left him a doubt for the Ashes. Stokes recently admitted the word had gone out to British curators that 'fast and flat' wickets were preferred for the Ashes series in order for the team to execute their brand of 'Bazball'.
This would mean Archer could be their secret weapon due to his pace that has troubled the Aussie batters in the past. Archer was the bowler that rattled Steve Smith in the previous Ashes held in the UK, which saw him miss a Test match due to concussion.
"Having the option of someone who can bowl above 90mph (145kph) is something any captain wants," he said earlier this month. "Test matches can be hard and gruelling on bodies and who knows what type of conditions we might be up against game to game?
"We might feel like high-end pace is something we want throughout the series, we might feel like it's not what we need in every game. But having options is something I want."
Archer's county team, Sussex, recently admitted they weren't sure if the quick would play for them before the Ashes with the star not taking part in a first class match since May 2021. The 28-year-old admitted he would be happy to play one Ashes Test this summer if given the opportunity.
Jofra Aarcher's injury history a worry for the Ashes
Archer has struggled with injury since his breakthrough series in the Ashes. The fast bowler missed the 2021 T20 World Cup after succumbing to a persistent elbow injury.
The 28-year-old also missed the Ashes later that year due to the same injury. He then sustained a back injury just before his return last year. While his injuries have been described as 'career-threatening', Archer has bounced back from each one and continues to star for England.
Remarkably, James Anderson will take part in the Ashes series, four years after limping out of his last home Ashes on the first morning of the first Test. The 40-year-old recently backed Stokes' admission that England will relentlessly back their aggressive style of cricket against Australia, which saw the captain declare each Test match will see a result.
"Hold me to it. Every game I play this summer will be to produce a result," Stokes recently said, which received the backing of Anderson. "I'm not going to change anything just because it's the Ashes.
"I'm not going to change for anything or any situation, because then I'm not being true to myself and what I've done over the last year."
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