Veteran England fast-bowler James Anderson said he was ‘absolutely gutted’ for speedster Jofra Archer being sidelined for the entire home summer due to an elbow injury and hoped for him to be able to recover from the latest setback in his career.
Archer will be missing one-off Test against Ireland, The Ashes and the rest of England’s cricketing summer after suffering a recurrence of a stress fracture to his right elbow, which had earlier ruled him out of Mumbai Indians’ campaign in IPL 2023.
The right-arm pacer has not played a Test for England since March 2021 and made a comeback to international cricket earlier this year after dealing with elbow and back injuries for nearly two years. Apart from him, pacer Olly Stone is unavailable at least for the first half of the summer due to a hamstring injury.
“I’m gutted for both of those guys, Jofra in particular because he’s had a tough few years with that elbow. It just keeps coming back and niggling at him, so I’m absolutely gutted for him. I know how hard he has worked to try to get back fit and I hope it’s not too bad and he can get back as soon as possible.”
“When you see someone struggle with the same sort of injuries, I think it’s only sensible to try to manage your workload and whether that’s playing one format or two then that’s probably a sensible thing to do. That’s something he’ll have to work out with the coaches going forward,” Anderson was quoted as saying by Sky Sports News.
Anderson, who at 40 is England’s leading wicket-taker in Tests, is dealing with an injury himself ahead of the one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s. He had picked up a minor groin strain during his club Lancashire’s recent County Championship match against Somerset.
Talking about his availability for the Test against Ireland, Anderson revealed his main focus is on ensuring he is fully fit to play the Ashes later in June. “I’ll be trying to get fit for the Ireland Test, but whether I play in that is another question.”
“We know what the important series is this year. No disrespect to Ireland, we want to have as many players as possible fit for that first Ashes Test, so hopefully I will be,” he added.