Ben Stokes 'highly unlikely' to feature in England's Ashes squad this winter

The all-rounder hasn’t played since April.

Ben Stokes. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ben Stokes is highly unlikely to feature England Ashes squad this winter after undergoing a second surgery on a broken finger.

The 30-year-old suffered the injury during an IPL outing for Rajasthan Royals earlier this year, and announced over the summer that he would be taking a break from cricket to allow it to fully heal, and to focus on his mental health.

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Since then, Stokes underwent a second operation on his finger on Monday to remove two screws and some scar tissue from the site of the injury.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has said that the all-rounder will now participate in an "intensive period of rehabilitation for the next four weeks" with their medical team.

Despite that timeframe, however, Sky Sports report that Stokes is not targeting a specific comeback date, and is expected to miss out on the Ashes, which begin in Australia on December 8th.

The player has already been omitted from England's squad for the T20 World Cup, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates in October and November.

As for the Ashes themselves, the historic series is expected to go ahead as planned after concerns over quarantine restrictions for the England squad’s families were eased during positive talks between players and Cricket Australia.

The tour - taking place across December and January - was in some doubt as a number of stars had issues with how strict restrictions would be when they and their families arrived in Australia.