Ben Stokes set to undergo knee surgery after World Cup 2023

England Test captain Ben Stokes has hinted at the possibility of undergoing knee surgery following the ODI World Cup 2023, which could rule him out of England's Test series against India scheduled for early next year.

This development comes after he continues to struggle with chronic tendonitis in his knee, a condition that significantly impacted his role as an all-rounder in the England cricket team during the Ashes this summer.

Throughout the 2023 Ashes series, Stokes faced considerable difficulties in bowling due to the persistent knee issue. In the last Tests, he primarily functioned as a specialist batter.

This trend is set to continue as he prepares to participate in the ODI series against New Zealand, followed by the forthcoming World Cup 2023 in India.

The recurring left knee injury has compelled Stokes to manage his bowling workload in recent years, thereby affecting the balance he typically brings to the team. This became particularly evident during England's tour of New Zealand earlier this year, where Stokes expressed his frustration at being unable to contribute as a fourth seamer, managing to bowl just seven overs across two Tests.

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In an attempt to address his fitness issues, Stokes sought relief before his stint with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year. He received a cortisone injection in his knee before departing for India but he could bowl only one wicketless over before pulling out of the tournament due to the same knee troubles.

Ben Stokes hints at knee surgery after World Cup

Stokes has revealed his intention to undergo surgery following the conclusion of the World Cup, though he has chosen not to divulge further details at this time.

ben stokes
Photo by Icon sport

Speaking to reporters, he said, “I know what's going to happen, I just don't think now is the right time to say what I'm doing.” He also mentioned having productive discussions with specialists and the existence of a comprehensive plan for his recovery post-World Cup.

His ultimate goal is to return to cricket as a genuine all-rounder in time for the 2024 season. Stokes emphasized, “I want to be playing next summer as a genuine all-rounder. This winter is all about playing this World Cup, then getting this knee sorted.”

However, the timeline for his recovery remains uncertain. If surgery is indeed required, he may face a race against time to be fit for the upcoming five-Test series against India, commencing on January 25 2024. The duration of rehabilitation post any knee surgery typically spans 8-12 weeks, depending on the nature of the procedure.

It is worth noting that despite being just 32 years old, Stokes has subjected his body to a workload in cricket that can only rival the legendary Jacques Kallis in the modern era. He has both batted and bowled more than 10,000 balls in Test cricket, a feat matched only by Kallis and Carl Hooper in the history of the game.

Earlier, Stokes had reversed his decision to retire from ODI cricket and has rejoined England's squad to compete in the World Cup in India, scheduled to begin on October 5 and conclude on November 19. He played his first ODI in 15 months on September 8 against New Zealand, scoring a fifty on comeback.


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