England’s Jofra Archer is ruled out for the entire season with a stress fracture of his lower back after already missing the last 15 Tests – and the fast bowler looks likely to miss the T20 World Cup in October
- England fast bowler Jofra Archer has suffered another season-ending injury
- Archer is facing an indefinite lay-off after a stress fracture of the lower back
- The 27-year-old has been sidelined for over a year by a persistent elbow problem that has required two operations
- His last Test outing came during the third Test defeat in India in February 2021
Jofra Archer faces more World Cup heartbreak after being ruled out indefinitely with a stress fracture of the back.
Archer, 27, is understood to be devastated by the news that he will not play this season and with England’s build-up to this year’s Twenty20 World Cup starting in September with a seven-match series in Pakistan, it appears inevitable that he will once again miss out on trying to help Eoin Morgan’s team unite world cricket’s white-ball belts.
The Sussex fast bowler, who last played for England 14 months ago in India, had hoped to be fit for the previous World Cup in the UAE last autumn but broke down in his comeback from a long-term elbow injury.
England will be without Jofra Archer for the entire season due to a lower back stress fracture
Recently, however, those close to him recognised a much more upbeat demeanour as he prepared to play in two or three of Sussex’s eight second-team Twenty20 fixtures before the Blast campaign begins against Glamorgan next Thursday.
Only for his injury jinx to strike again on the eve of his return to competitive action.
Last week during training, he felt a twinge in his lower back, which was checked out as a precautionary measure.
Unfortunately, subsequent scans over the past few days highlighted the problem and the ECB confirmed his latest sidelining on Thursday morning.
‘No timeframe has been set for his return. A management plan will be determined following further specialist opinion over the coming days,’ a statement read.
Archer who shot to stardom with his performances in England’s maiden World Cup win in 2019 and then showed flashes of his brilliance as a genuinely fast bowler during the home Ashes that followed, has been dogged by injuries for more than two years now.
The news was announced on Thursday by the ECB in another damaging setback to Archer
He has undergone three bouts of surgery in the past year: one on his hand to remove a shard of glass, and two on his elbow.
Following the second of those last December, he told Sportsmail it was a relief that the post-operation feeling was different to the first, revealing that he’d feared his international career might be over.
‘In a situation like this, when you are forced to have operations, you do think about whether you are going to play cricket again, whether you’re going to play all formats even. But the ECB gave me the assurance and peace of mind that they wanted me around for a long time,’ he said.
A more conservative approach to his comeback – Archer has now missed England’s last 15 Tests – appeared to be working when he hooked up with his international team-mates in Barbados in both January and March continued to be pain free when bowling in the nets.
He has been sidelined for over a year by a persistent elbow problem – requiring two operations
Mumbai Indians were confident enough in his rehabilitation to sign him for £780,000 in this year’s Indian Premier League auction – with a view to him featuring in 2022 and 2023.
Inevitably, though, there will now be questions whether his body is up to the demands of first-class cricket.
He is not alone when it comes to English bowlers and back issues, however.
Both Curran brothers, Tom and Sam, Olly Stone, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Fisher have all been diagnosed with stress fractures since the end of the 2021 season.