England all-rounder Ben Stokes is expected to miss this winter’s Ashes tour of Australia after undergoing a second operation on his injured finger (Australia 1/4, England 5/1, Draw 8/1 – Series Winner).

Stokes initially sustained the injury back in April, undergoing surgery that same month, but he has now gone under the knife for a second time to remove two screws and scar tissue from his finger.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed the news of the surgery on Thursday, and with no exact timescale having been put on his return, it seems highly unlikely Stokes will feature in the Ashes, with the first Test due to get underway in Brisbane on December 8.

“England all-rounder Ben Stokes has undergone a second operation on Monday 4th October to address ongoing issues with the finger that he injured in the IPL in April,” an ECB statement confirmed.

“He will now undergo an intensive period of rehabilitation for the next four weeks under the supervision of the ECB’s medical team.”

Stokes has not featured for England (3/1 to win T20 World Cup) since this summer’s three-match one-day international series against Pakistan, with the 30-year-old having opted to take an indefinite break from cricket in July to protect his mental health, as well as resting his injured left index finger.

It had been hoped that Stokes would be able to return for the Ashes, but that now appears unlikely, which is a further blow to England, who will already be without injured duo Jofra Archer and Olly Stone Down Under.

There have also been concerns as to whether the Ashes would go ahead at all due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in Australia, but following positive talks between the ECB and Cricket Australia on Wednesday, the tour has now moved a step closer to taking place.

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