England pacer Jofra Archer has been ruled out of the 2022 English summer after suffering a stress fracture on his lower back, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Thursday.
Archer, who last played for England in March 2021, was hoping to make his comeback from a long-term elbow injury for Sussex in the T20 Blast next week. He had planned to play some second-team warm-up matches before their opening fixture against Glamorgan next Thursday. But, the pacer never made it onto the pitch and now has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
"After being diagnosed with a stress fracture to the lower back, England and Sussex seamer Jofra Archer has been ruled out for the rest of the season. No timeframe has been set for his return. A management plan will be determined following further specialist opinion over the coming days," said the ECB in a statement.
The 27-old fast bowler has undergone three bouts of surgery in the last 14 months: one on his hand to remove a shard of glass, and two on his elbow. He made an aborted comeback after the first elbow surgery, playing one T20 Blast game and one Royal London Cup warm-up match for Sussex, before he was diagnosed with a stress fracture, prompting the second operation in December.
Archer trained with England in Barbados as part of his rehabilitation during their T20I and Test tours to the Caribbean earlier this year and skipped the ongoing IPL - after he was signed for Rs 8 crore by Mumbai Indians with the intention of returning to competitive cricket in time for the start of the Blast.
The news also comes as a worry for England's national team that has recently seen a slew of injuries to their quick bowlers.
The ECB was already concerned about the number of English fast bowlers suffering injuries, with Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Olly Stone, Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Fisher among the seamers who were not considered for selection for the first Test squad of the summer.