Jofra Archer briefly left the Indian Premier League this month to travel to Belgium, where he reportedly underwent surgery for a minor procedure on his troublesome right elbow.
The England pacemaker was conspicuous by his absence for the Mumbai Indians, who featured in his team’s season opener on April 2 but then missed the next four games before returning to action on Saturday.
Concerns were raised by the revelation that Archer was experiencing joint discomfort that required a pair of operations and contributed to his spending much of the past two years on the sideline.
The PA news agency knows that Archer flew to Belgium to see his specialist during a nearly three-week absence in Mumbai and, according to the Daily Telegraph, underwent minor surgery before returning to India.
Archer, who returns to the fray at the weekend and bowls his full assignment of four, reaching speeds of 90mph against Punjab Kings, suggests the problem isn’t another dramatic setback for him.
He was rested for Tuesday’s match against Gujarat Titans but could return to the count when Mumbai takes on Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.
England’s medical team have been working closely with their franchise counterparts, with Archer only months after returning from stress fractures to his elbow and then back.
He put in some encouraging performances on his return to England on the white ball tours of South Africa and Bangladesh, leading to suggestions that he could have a starring role in this summer’s Ashes series.
Sussex indicated ahead of the county season that Archer may not play any first-class cricket before the Ashes, and the difference in workload between T20 and Test cricket is stark.
Archer, who has not played a first-class match since May 2021, has wanted to downplay expectations, saying when in Bangladesh: “If I can play one (Ashes) match this summer, I’ll be happy.
“If I play more than one, that’s just a bonus.”