England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be out for up to three months after breaking his finger during an Indian Premier League match.
Stokes suffered the injury while taking a catch to dismiss West Indies batsman Chris Gayle during Rajasthan Royals’ defeat to Punjab Kings on Monday.
The 29-year-old carried on despite appearing in discomfort after the diving catch, but did not add to the one over he bowled and was then dismissed for a three-ball duck.
Rajasthan confirmed earlier in the week that the injury had ended Stokes’ IPL campaign, but the England and Wales Cricket Board say the all-rounder in fact faces three months on the sidelines.
‘A repeat X-ray and CT scan on Thursday revealed that Stokes has a fracture of his left index finger,’ the ECB said in a statement.
‘Stokes, who is currently in India with Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, will fly home tomorrow. He will have surgery in Leeds on Monday.’
England host New Zealand in a two-match Test series in June but it appears unlikely that Stokes will be fit for selection.
Following that series, England play Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the white-ball formats before facing India in a much-anticipated Test series in August and September.
Virat Kohli’s side beat Joe Root’s team 3-1 at home recently and have been tipped to secure a rare victory in England this summer.
Stokes struggled during England’s defeat to India but has developed into one of their most important and most consistent players across the formats in recent years.
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