West Indies allrounder Andre Russell will not be part of the T20I series against India, after it emerged on the eve of the first match in Kolkata that he was injured and had not yet arrived in the country.
ESPNcricinfo understands Russell has been hampered once again by the knee injury that has affected him ever since he made a return to cricket earlier this year after his year-long anti-doping ban. Russell will have another fitness Test ahead of T10 tournament in the UAE that begins on November 21, following which the West Indies selectors are hopeful he can play on the tour of Bangladesh.
Currently Russell is busy with rehab, doing strength workouts as well as getting treated on his knee. Part of treatment involves being injected with platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The PRP includes having a portion of the patient's own blood that has a platelet concentration above baseline, to promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints, and it can be applied to various musculoskeletal problems.
Russell was one of seven players supposed to join the T20I squad over the last three days, but his absence during the training sessions at Eden Gardens - his home ground in the IPL - was conspicuous. He recently played the CPL for Jamaica Tallawahs, and then went to the Afghanistan Premier League where he played one game for Nangarhar Leopards on October 9, a day after he had been picked in West Indies' T20I squad. Three days later, on October 12, Russell said on Instagram that he was leaving the APL early because of injury.
The West Indies T20I squad is already depleted by the absence of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis at the top of the order, with both players pulling out due to personal reasons.