Cricket-England's Stokes hoping Archer 'fit and ready' in time for Ashes

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Fourth Twenty20 International - India v England - Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India - March 18, 2021 The bat of England's Jofra Archer breaks as he plays a shot REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

(Reuters) - England captain Ben Stokes is hopeful Jofra Archer can fully recover from the injury issues that have kept him out of the team since March 2021 in time for next year's Ashes series, but added that the bowler would not be rushed back into action.

Archer played for the Lions in a three-day match earlier this week against the England test side in the United Arab Emirates.

On Thursday, Archer said he was "fully back" from his long injury lay-off, adding that he was targeting a spot in the England team for the Ashes, which will take place on home soil in June.

"He's one of the superstars of the international game and it's great to see him running back in, bowling fast and it's really good to have him back around the group as well," Stokes told Sky Sports.

"I think he's just really excited to be back. He's obviously had a long time off with injury and as exciting as it is we've got to be careful not to rush him back as we don't want to see Jofra Archer on the sidelines for this amount of (time) again," he added.

"That's the plan, hopefully we can have Jofra fit and ready especially for the Ashes."

England next travel to Pakistan for a three-test series, with the first match beginning in Rawalpindi on Dec. 1.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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