JOFRA ARCHER: My goals now are to be fit for the World Cup and the Ashes … a test is a bonus


JOFRA ARCHER: My goals now are to be fit for England at the World Cup and the Ashes after elbow surgery … if I play a test match this summer it’s a bonus

  • One thing I’m determined to do after my elbow surgery is not a rash comeback
  • My primary focus is to play for England at the T20 World Cup and the Ashes
  • Surgery was the last option, and we wanted to try other options before taking refuge
  • I wanted to avoid surgery, but my elbow hurt in the first innings against Kent

One thing I’m determined about post elbow surgery is that I’m not rushing my comeback as my primary focus is to play for England in the Twenty20 World Cup and Ashes later this year.

Those are my goals. If I come back before then and manage to play in the home test series against India – that’s fine, so be it. If I don’t, I’m quite willing to sit through the summer.

The way I look at things is that I prefer to miss a few weeks out of a year so that I have a few more years in my career.

Jofra Archer does not intend to rush his comeback after recent elbow surgery

I want to fix this injury once and for all and that’s why I’m not looking that far ahead or dates for a return to action – because if I don’t do this right I won’t be playing cricket. Period of time.

I am not going to do myself any good by coming back before I am fully fit so I will take my time and do what’s best for me and my life.

The link has come off and I have since spoken to the consultant, but everything is still very fresh and I painfully remain after what was a career-defining moment last Friday.

Surgery was always the last option and we wanted to apply every possible strategy before going down that path. It was last on the list. It is not always a solution and we will see how it went in four weeks.

If there are other ways to heal the problem with every injury, you would usually try them – this is no different. When you have surgery, you change the body. You go into a very fine piece of tissue and if you do, you can provoke all kinds of complications.

Archer wants to make sure he is fit to play in another World Cup this summer

He also prioritizes being fit for the Ashes

The fast bowler’s main goal is to play at the World Cup and the Ashes later this summer

The intention may be to fix one thing, but it can confuse others. An example is that it creates scar tissue, so you have to be prepared for everything that goes with it. In contrast, having injections doesn’t change much.

But after playing for Sussex against Kent earlier this month, it wasn’t a difficult decision to go down the surgical route, as it clearly didn’t work to treat the injury with rest and pain-relieving injections.

I must remain confident that this will now resolve the issue for good, although there is always room for a new operation if needed. At the age of 26 I am still quite young.

But my attitude right now is that the less I get into that sort of thing the better. I just want to throw myself into rehab.

As I said on these pages recently, I remain committed to playing all three formats for England and winning major series. But it’s been a while since I’ve thrown completely pain-free.

Archer went under the knife on Friday in an attempt to fix his persistent elbow problems

Archer went under the knife on Friday in an attempt to fix his persistent elbow problems

However, I believe everything happens for a reason, and now is a great time to get myself back in shape. I’m just thankful it only has two tests against New Zealand and five against India.

It doesn’t feel like the packed international summer of 2019 in which I could potentially have missed a lot more.

I tried to avoid surgery, but against Kent in the County Championship two weeks ago, my elbow wasn’t great – even in the first innings. I was determined not to put the ball down until Zak Crawley, my Test teammate, was sent off and thankfully got out earlier than expected. That allowed me to quit bowling and made the first innings a little easier for me.

In the second, we had them in trouble again early on and if I had been okay, the game would have been completely different. I was not.

A bit was made of Saturday night events when Ben Brown asked me to bowl after a long delay for rain showers. I think it looked a lot worse than it was.

Archer revealed that he felt elbow pain against Kent in the County Championship

Archer revealed that he felt elbow pain against Kent in the County Championship

In terms of how much pain they cause, injuries change over time and how much pain the elbow hurts varied during bowling. Sometimes it felt a lot better, and sometimes it was worse. That was a day when I was just too painful.

There have been many times when the captain has had to fight to get the ball out of my hands, but when I say, “I can’t bowl,” it’s because there’s absolutely nothing I can do.

Some people have suggested that I change my action to compensate for the pain during that match and try to put more of my shoulder into the deliveries, but I was not aware of that.

I now hope that I am fit and as effective as the old me in the not-too-distant future, so that I can play a key role in the two big events in late 2021.