England news November 3, 2011

Ben Stokes out for six months

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ben Stokes, the England and Durham allrounder, will be out of cricket for around six months after undergoing surgery on his right index finger in the USA. He is expected to return to action for the start of the 2012 County Championship season.

Stokes had picked up a complex fracture dislocation in his finger during a County Championship match between Durham and Lancashire in May and had undergone surgery then, but his finger failed to heal completely despite extensive rehabilitation and he was unable to resume bowling. In the meantime, he made his England debut, in an ODI against Ireland in August, and played four matches during the home one-day series against India. He was left out of the squad for the tour of India so that he could undergo the surgery, and will now be out for six months.

The initial healing phase following the operation will be approximately three months and then there will be a further three months of graded recovery and rehabilitation. The lay-off means Stokes will miss England's series against Pakistan in the UAE early next year.

"My priority now will be to work hard on my rehabilitation over the next six months," Stokes said. "I want to make sure I am fully fit and available to start next season."