Ben Stokes to Possibly Undergo Knee Surgery After ODI World Cup, Raising Concerns for India Series

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England all-rounder and Test Captain Ben Stokes is expected to have knee surgery after the ODI World Cup, potentially affecting his availability for the upcoming five-match series against India in January. Chronic tendonitis in his knee has posed significant challenges for Stokes this summer. During the last three Ashes Tests, he primarily featured as a specialist batter due to his knee condition. This role is anticipated to continue in the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand and the forthcoming World Cup in India. 

Surgery Plans Post-World Cup 

Stokes has expressed his intention to address his long-standing knee issue with surgery after the World Cup. However, specific details regarding the procedure remain undisclosed. “I know what’s going to happen, I just don’t think now is the right time to say what I’m doing,” Stokes told reporters ahead of the first ODI against New Zealand. 

The cricketer emphasized that there is a comprehensive plan in place to address his knee problem. “It’s nice knowing after the World Cup we’ve got something, a really good plan we can do and we can stick to,” Stokes stated. His goal is to return as a genuine all-rounder for next summer. 

Race Against Time For India Series 

If Stokes undergoes surgery after the World Cup, his recovery timeline will be crucial, given the impending five-Test series against India, starting on January 25. Knee surgeries typically require 8-12 weeks of recovery and rehabilitation. Stokes, with his lucrative IPL contract, might aim for a return during the next year’s IPL. 

The evolving cricket landscape, with the proliferation of T20 leagues worldwide, has led players to opt for franchise cricket over central contracts. Stokes expressed an understanding of these decisions and acknowledged the changing cricket landscape. “We’ve got to understand, and I’ve got to understand as a captain, that there might be some decisions players make, and I’m very comfortable and aware that something like that might happen,” Stokes noted.

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