England all-rounder Stokes out for up to 12 weeks with broken finger

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England all-rounder Ben Stokes faces a long lay-off

All-rounder Ben Stokes will be sidelined for up to three months after fracturing a finger during Indian Premier League duty, while a broken bone in batsman Dom Sibley's right hand has given England a further headache.

Stokes, 29, will be absent for a chunk of England's summer schedule after suffering the injury while fielding for Rajasthan Royals in their first Indian Premier League match of the year against Punjab Kings this week.

"England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be out for up to 12 weeks after a repeat X-ray and CT scan on Thursday revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger," an England and Wales Cricket Board statement said on Friday.

"Stokes, who is currently in India with Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League, will fly home tomorrow. He will have surgery in Leeds on Monday.

"The injury occurred while fielding during Royals' opening match against Punjab Kings on Monday when he completed a catch in the deep to see off West Indies batsman Chris Gayle."

Stokes looks set to miss England's two Tests against New Zealand in June and is a doubt for white-ball series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

The start of the inaugural Hundred franchise competition in late July and a five-Test series against India beginning in early August are likelier to be on Stokes's radar for a return.

The Royals said earlier in the week that the powerful all-rounder would be ruled out of the remainder of the IPL season.

"Everyone at Rajasthan Royals absolutely admires Ben for being such a huge asset and a valuable member of the Royals family, both on and off the field, and wishes him a speedy recovery," the team said.

Stokes was this week named Wisden's leading cricketer in the world for the second year in a row, becoming the first England cricketer to win the award twice.

England opening batsman Sibley sustained a fractured finger fielding for Warwickshire in their County Championship match against Nottinghamshire on Thursday.

He did not bat in Warwickshire's first innings but the club kept open the possibility of a return to action at Trent Bridge.

"Sibley is being regularly assessed and his contribution to the remainder of the game will be determined by the level of discomfort that the player is experiencing and the medical team," the club said in a statement.


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