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News

Archer left IPL to visit elbow specialist in Belgium

He is expected to play Mumbai's game against Rajasthan Royals this weekend

Jofra Archer briefly left India earlier this month to visit an elbow specialist in Belgium, where he reportedly underwent a minor surgical procedure.
The Telegraph reported on Tuesday night that Archer had a "minor procedure" in his right elbow during his brief recent lay-off during the IPL. The same elbow has caused him several issues over the last two years, with an initial stress fracture in 2021 ruling him out of that year's English summer, T20 World Cup and Ashes.
The ECB confirmed to ESPNcricinfo on Wednesday morning that Archer had been to see his specialist in Belgium "a few weeks ago". He has since returned to Mumbai Indians' XI in the IPL, playing against Punjab Kings on Saturday night, and is expected to feature for them against Rajasthan Royals this weekend.
Archer returned to international cricket earlier this year after an absence of nearly two years, owing to elbow and back injuries which both put his career in jeopardy. He played Mumbai's first game of IPL 2023, but missed their next four matches due to what his head coach Mark Boucher described as "a little niggle".
He came back into the side for their defeat to Kings on Saturday night, then missed their away fixture against Gujarat Titans on Tuesday. Rohit Sharma, Mumbai's captain, said at the toss that Archer was "not well" but he is expected to return against Royals on Sunday night.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo last week, Archer said that his minor setback was "what you expect when you've been off for a long time: the body's not going to be 100 percent straight away."
He added: "There are going to be moments where it feels a lot more serious than it actually is... I just want to focus on feeling good at the minute."
The ECB remains hopeful that Archer will be able to play some part in this summer's Ashes series, which starts on June 16 at Edgbaston. He has not played a first-class match in nearly two years, and is therefore unlikely to be match-fit for the first Test, but could come into contention later in the series.