England's Ben Stokes on IPL sidelines with right shoulder injury
'I'd imagine Andrew Strauss would be a little bit concerned'
By Oli Burley
Last Updated: 30/04/17 5:26pm
Ben Stokes' shoulder injury has kept him out of a second Indian Premier League in succession, a little over a month before the start of England's ICC Champions Trophy campaign.
Stokes - the most expensive overseas IPL signing of all time - suffered a grade one tear in his right shoulder while bowling for Rising Pune Supergiant against Mumbai Indians on Monday, although it didn't prevent him taking 2-21 from four overs, including the wicket of compatriot Jos Buttler.
The all-rounder subsequently missed Supergiant's seven-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday's clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison told Sky Sports that Stokes, who received permission from the England and Wales Cricket Board to miss next week's one-day internationals against Ireland to focus on his IPL commitments, could return early in May.
But ahead of a summer in which Stokes, England's Test vice-captain, should play a pivotal part in series against South Africa and West Indies as well the ICC Champions Trophy, former opener Marcus Trescothick said there is grounds for tempered concern.
"I'm pretty sure the England boys have been on the phone - I'd imagine Andrew Strauss would be a little bit concerned and making sure everything is ok," said Trescothick.
"I think they trust Ben Stokes pretty much with his body and how he approaches everything so I'm sure they'll back him in everything he does.
"He's been bowling in the key times along with Imran Tahir, especially at the back end. That's where he's making a major impact in the game; he's someone who loves bowling in the tough situations."
Harmison agreed that for all of Stokes' batting prowess, it will be his bowling that Supergiant will miss most.
"Bowling is his best facet - that's what's key to each team that he plays in. I played with a top all-rounder in Andrew Flintoff, whose bowling - like Stokes' - was key because he balances the team and is as fiery as a frontline bowler.
"He's a very, very strong character - a big, strong boy and he'll be devastated that he's not playing. But for England fans - just rein him in a little bit, get him back on the field fit and firing and he'll hopefully come back stronger at the back end of the tournament."
Stokes suffered a collarbone injury in November 2015 after diving for a catch in the third Test against Pakistan but returned to fitness for that winter's tour of South Africa, striking 258 - the fastest double Test century - in Cape Town.