Injured Jofra Archer pulls out of IPL to put Ashes participation in doubt

Jofra Archer has pulled out of the IPL  (Getty Images)
Jofra Archer has pulled out of the IPL (Getty Images)

Jofra Archer faces a race to be fit for next month’s Ashes after pulling out of the rest of the IPL because of injury.

Archer had undergone a minor procedure on his right elbow in Belgium last month and is now returning home from India having been released by the Mumbai Indians having suffered further pain in the joint.

The 28-year-old fast bowler is being assessed by the ECB’s medical team, who do not believe surgery will be required.

Archer last played Test cricket back in March 2021 and was out of action for nearly two years with elbow and back problems.

He returned to international white-ball cricket at the start of the year and England are hopeful he can spearhead their Ashes bowling attack later this summer despite the latest issue.

It is too early to say when Archer might return to action but is believed to have decided to come home following talks with Mumbai Indians about giving him the best opportunity to be fit to represent England this summer.

He will be replaced in his IPL side by England teammate Chris Jordan.

The Mumbai Indians said in a statement: “England all-rounder Chris Jordan will join the MI squad for the rest of the season, replacing Jofra Archer, whose recovery and fitness continues to be monitored by ECB. Jofra will return home to focus on his rehabilitation.”

England said Archer had been playing through the pain barrier since last month’s medical procedure on the joint.

A statement read: “The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) can confirm that fast bowler Jofra Archer will return from the Indian Premier League with immediate effect.

“Archer has been recovering from right elbow surgery. However, pushing through the discomfort whilst 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 cooperation during this time.”

Archer will fly back to the UK this week and will continue his rehabilitation with his county Sussex as well as the ECB’s medical department in the hope of getting him fully fit to be part of England’s bowling attack for the Ashes.

England managing director Rob Key had previously said that Archer would be central to England’s ambitions this summer.

“We’re going to select for the Ireland Test [June 1-4] so hopefully he’ll be available for selection for that,” he said. “We expect Jofra to be a massive part of that, and I think Jofra at some point will have a massive impact in the Ashes.”

The Ashes gets under way on June 16 at Edgbaston with England looking for their first series victory against Australia since 2015.