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Feature

Timeline - Jofra Archer's injury-hit stint with MI franchises

The England fast bowler played only 11 matches across the SA20 and the IPL this year

Jofra Archer has flown home from IPL 2023 after experiencing elbow discomfort while playing for Mumbai Indians, following a minor surgery early in the season. Archer has had a rough time of it since he was signed by the franchise 15 months ago: these are the ups and downs.
February 1, 2022 - Enters IPL mega-auction
Archer's name is a surprise inclusion on the longlist for the mega-auction, given he was due to miss IPL 2022 with an elbow injury. Hemang Amin, the IPL's COO, tells franchises: "The ECB has registered Jofra Archer for the auction with a view to potential participation in 2023 and 2024, as due to his current injury it is unlikely that he can participate in IPL 2022."
February 13, 2022 - Signed by Mumbai Indians
Despite his unavailability, Archer's lot prompts a bidding war between his old franchise Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai at the auction, with Mumbai eventually securing his services at INR 8 crore (£800,000 approx). The franchise's owner, Akash Ambani, says: "When he is fit and available we believe he will make a formidable partnership with [Jasprit] Bumrah."
May 19, 2022 - Back stress fracture
Archer is diagnosed with a lower-back stress fracture, preventing his planned return in the T20 Blast for Sussex and ruling him out of the English summer. The ECB say in a statement: "No timeframe has been set for his return."
November 23, 2022 - England Lions return
Bowling in England match kit for the first time since March 2021, Archer hits Zak Crawley on the helmet with a sharp bouncer, playing for England Lions against the full Test squad in a warm-up match in Abu Dhabi. "A small day but still a big day," he says.
January 10, 2023 - MI Cape Town debut
Signed as a 'wildcard' for MI Cape Town - Mumbai Indians' franchise in the inaugural SA20 - Archer bowls the third over of the new tournament, and strikes with his third ball. He plays six times for them in total, taking 10 wickets.
January 27, 2023 - Full international comeback
Archer plays his first game for England since March 2021, taking 1 for 81 in the first ODI in South Africa. Five days later, he takes 6 for 40 to seal a consolation win as England lose the series 2-1.
March 14, 2023 - Back in Bangladesh
Archer finishes England's white-ball tour to Bangladesh with another five international appearances under his belt, taking five wickets in his two ODIs and four in his three T20Is.
April 2, 2023 - Mumbai debut
Mumbai start IPL 2023 with a heavy defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Archer takes 0 for 33 in his four overs, dropping a difficult caught-and-bowled chance offered by Virat Kohli off his first ball.
April 8, 2023 - Misses El Clasico
After experiencing discomfort in his right elbow on debut, Archer misses Mumbai's first home game against Chennai Super Kings with what Mark Boucher, their head coach, describes as "a little niggle". Boucher adds: "We've got a fantastic medical team that are looking after him. He's obviously a massive player for us, so hopefully they can pass him fit sometime soon."
April 22, 2023 - Returns vs Punjab Kings
Having missed four matches in a row, Archer takes his first wicket for Mumbai - Sam Curran, caught and bowled - in a defeat to Punjab Kings at the Wankhede.
April 25, 2023 - Belgium trip emerges
The Daily Telegraph reports that Archer travelled to Belgium during his lay-off to visit Roger van Riet, his elbow specialist, for a "minor procedure". The ECB confirms that Archer travelled to Belgium, but do not comment on whether he underwent surgery. Archer responds furiously via Twitter, saying: "Putting out an article without knowing the facts and without my consent is crazy."
April 27, 2023 - All-format ambitions
Archer confirms in an interview with ESPNcricinfo that he retains hope of making a return to Test cricket. "I still want to play as much red-ball [cricket] as possible," he says. "I've never really had a thought of trying to give up on any of the formats as yet."
April 29, 2023 - Boucher confirms surgery
Asked about Archer's situation at a pre-match press conference, Boucher confirms that he travelled to Belgium. "Yes, he did," he said. "I believe it was a minor surgery." Meanwhile, Archer's close friend and Sussex and England team-mate Chris Jordan is spotted training with the franchise.
May 9, 2023 - Leaves IPL 2023
Mumbai announce that Archer has been replaced by Jordan for the remainder of the tournament, after consecutive wicketless appearances against Kings and Super Kings. "Jofra will return home to focus on his rehabilitation," the franchise said.
The ECB confirmed that he has been "recovering from right elbow surgery", adding: "Pushing through the discomfort whilst recently playing, hoping it will settle, has proven challenging. Therefore, it has been agreed for him to return to the UK for a period of rest and rehabilitation to give him the best opportunity for a full recovery."
May 16, 2023 - Ruled out of English summer
England's squad announcement for the Ireland Test contains the news that Archer has been ruled out of action for the home season by the recurrence of his elbow stress fracture. "He was making good progress until a recurrence of the elbow injury, which kept him out for an extended period previously," says Rob Key, England men's managing director. "We wish him the best of luck with his recovery."