Ben Stokes confirms successful knee surgery ahead of rehab

The England captain will be hoping the procedure puts him in the best position possible to be fit for the five-match tour of India

England's captain Ben Stokes is seen during day three of the second cricket Test match between New Zealand and England at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. England Test captain Ben Stokes is still unable to bowl and is only "batting cover", his coach at IPL side Chennai Super Kings says, in a fresh injury scare weeks before the Ashes
Ben Stokes has been managing a chronic left-knee problem for some time Credit: Getty Images/Marty Melville

Ben Stokes has confirmed that he underwent successful surgery on his long-standing left-knee injury as he looks to get in shape ahead of January’s tour of India.

England’s Test captain posted on social media that he had been “In and out” of London’s Cromwell Hospital, and that “rehab starts now”.

Stokes confirmed during the World Cup last month that he would undergo surgery when he got home, but that he had to wait for the well-respected surgeon Andy Williams, who has previously operated on Chris Woakes among other cricketers, to be available. Despite returning from the World Cup on Nov 12, he had to wait until the last week to have the operation. It is thought that the procedure did not take place on Wednesday, when he posted on social media.

“That would be ideal [to have the operation as soon as he got home],” Stokes told Sky after the tournament. “Unfortunately when you go to specialists who are the best in their field, they are quite busy people.”

Stokes has previously described the operation as “a clean-out” that he hoped would see him “in a much better position than it [his body] has been in the last 18 months”.

Stokes will now begin his rehabilitation in earnest ahead of the India tour. He appears unlikely to bowl much, if at all, on the five-Test tour, which begins in Hyderabad on Jan 25.

“I should do [be able to play the Tests],” he said after the World Cup. “I have put a lot of hard work in away from cricket here to give myself the best chance of a quick recovery. With Christmas and everything coming up the main thing is getting the knee right so I am ready and raring to go for the Test series.”

Stokes bowled in just two of England’s six Tests this summer but, having pulled out of the Indian Premier League with Chennai Super Kings to prioritise his fitness, hopes to be back as a fully functioning all-rounder in the summer of 2024.

“I’ll be doing some more intensive work from now until summer next year, making sure I’m giving myself the best chance I can playing the next two to three years as an all-rounder,” he said in September.