Jofra Archer likely to miss first four matches for Rajasthan Royals

Fast bowler undergoes successful surgery to remove glass fragment from his hand

Nagraj Gollapudi
Jofra Archer lets one fly  •  BCCI

Jofra Archer lets one fly  •  BCCI

Jofra Archer is set to return to India to play for the Rajasthan Royals after a period on the sidelines recovering from injury, despite some early doubts over his availability for the 2021 IPL.
ESPNcricinfo understands Archer, who had finger surgery on Monday in England, is expected to miss at least the first four matches of the Royals' schedule.
The IPL, which will be played behind closed doors in India, starts on April 9 with the Royals scheduled to play their first match on April 12 in Mumbai against the Punjab Kings.
The Royals were awaiting an update from the ECB on a firm date of departure, but it is understood the franchise expects him to be out for at least for the first four matches.
On Wednesday, the ECB said Archer had undergone successful surgery to remove a fragment of glass from the middle finger on his right hand and that he would now begin two weeks of rehabilitation. He would be reviewed by a consultant before returning to training and more would be known about the effectiveness of an injection to an ongoing elbow problem, once he was bowling again, the ECB added.
In terms of his IPL involvement, the ECB said it was too early to confirm and a decision would be made once he was given the all-clear to return to bowling.
Archer suffered a cut to his hand while cleaning at his home in January shortly before flying to India to prepare for their four-Test series. The ECB's medical team managed the injury throughout the tour, and it did not impact on his availability.
Archer returned to England from the India tour immediately after the T20 series in March to have the injuries seen to, the elbow issue having troubled him since the South Africa tour in January 2020.
On Tuesday, Ashley Giles, the ECB's director of cricket, revealed detail of Archer's finger injury on BBC's Tuffers & Vaughan show. According to Giles, Archer suffered a cut on the middle finger of his bowling hand in January while at home in Hove after dropping a tropical fish tank in the bath.
"They've operated and I think they found a small fragment of glass still in attendance. It obviously healed but there was part of the fish tank still in his finger," Giles said.
On April 15 the Royals play against the Delhi Capitals, followed by the Chennai Super Kings on April 19 and then the Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 22.
Additional reporting from George Dobell

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo