England captain Ben Stokes has undergone a successful surgery on his left knee in a bid to stay fit for the Test series in India, beginning January next year.
The 32-year-old star all-rounder was unable to bowl in the final three Ashes Tests against Australia this year and only featured as a batter at the recent World Cup in India, with his body unable to cope with the rigours of bowling. He had announced earlier this month that he would undergo surgery after the World Cup.
"In and out. Under the (knife emoji) done. Rehab starts now," Stokes wrote on his social media handles with a picture of himself on crutches outside London's Cromwell Hospital.
The five-match Test series in India begins on January 25 in Hyderabad. The England team is expected to fly out to the United Arab Emirates for a warm-up camp two weeks before reaching India.
Last week, Stokes announced that he would not be available for the 2024 Indian Premier League to manage his workload and fitness, with the T20 World Cup scheduled in June 2024. Stokes was Chennai Super Kings' most expensive signing for the 2023 IPL but played just two matches due to injury.
"It's been a big hindrance on me" - Ben Stokes
Amid the 2023 World Cup, Stokes announced he will undergo surgery and is optimistic of playing the Test series in India. The 32-year-old revealed he is keen to play a multi-faceted role in India, given it's a high-profile series.
"I will hopefully be fine for the Test series [against India]. I am having surgery after the World Cup… There was a lot of time put into deciding when to get it done. The India Test series, which we start at the end of January, I should be fine to go by then. It's been a big hindrance on me, and affected what I can do for the team. Obviously that [being an allrounder] is what I want to be doing. You'd hope that it means that I can get back to doing what I've been known for, which is playing a role as a batter, and playing a role as a bowler as well," Stokes said, as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.
England were also the last team to beat India in a Test series in their backyard.
(With inputs from PTI)