Daily Mirror

FINGER OP RULES OUT STOKES FOR 3 MONTHS

Star faces missing 14 England games

- BY DEAN WILSON Cricket Correspond­ent @CricketMir­ror

BEN STOKES is set to miss a huge chunk of England’s summer schedule after learning he needs surgery on his broken finger.

Stokes faces up to three months on the sidelines and is now on his way home from India for the procedure, which is due to take place on Monday.

And the star all-rounder is in danger of missing 14 England matches due to the injury and recovery time on his fractured left index finger, sustained in the IPL. Stokes will be out of the entire Test series with New Zealand at the start of June, as well as the two white-ball series against Sri Lanka that follow.

Even the ODI and T20 series against Pakistan in July could be too ambitious for Stokes to jump straight back into.

Cricket chiefs will be sweating on his availabili­ty for the start of the Hundred and his Northern Supercharg­ers’ first match on July 24 against the Welsh Fire.

The key for England, though, is that he should certainly be back in time for the marquee internatio­nal series of the summer – the five Tests against India that begin in early August.

He also has the consolatio­n that his body will be well rested for the demands of a T20 World Cup in India and the Ashes series to come at the end of the year.

Stokes, 29, was hoping for better news, though, from Leeds-based surgeon Doug Campbell when they spoke on Thursday night. However, the advice was unequivoca­l and surgery was the only option.

It’s a carbon copy of the fracture he sustained on his right index finger 10 years ago. Back then he travelled to America for corrective surgery on an injury commonly suffered by basketball players when their finger tips get jammed by the ball.

Stokes knows he is in good hands with Campbell having operated on his broken wrist in 2014 to great success.

He has also just removed glass fragments from fast bowler Jofra Archer’s hand, which were the result of an accident while cleaning a fish tank.

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