England's Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League with a broken finger sustained in Rajasthan Royals' opening match, the team said Tuesday.
The all-rounder injured his finger while fielding against Punjab Kings in Mumbai on Monday. He eventually opened the innings but was out for a third-ball duck in his team's failed run chase.
"Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes injured a finger on his left hand while fielding during the team's match against Punjab Kings on 12 April 2021 in Mumbai," the Royals said in a statement.
"Subsequent investigations revealed that he sustained a broken finger, which will unfortunately rule him out of the remainder of the Indian Premier League 2021 season."
Stokes injured his finger while taking a catch to dismiss Punjab batsman Chris Gayle and left the field to get treatment.
He bowled just one over before the blow to his finger, giving away 12 runs.
Stokes, a left-handed batsman, returned to bat and was caught and bowled by pace bowler Mohammed Shami for nought.
"Everyone at Rajasthan Royals absolutely admires Ben for being such a huge asset and a valuable member of the Royals family, both on and off the field, and wishes him a speedy recovery," the team said.
"We are delighted that Ben would like to stay with the group to provide his valued support and inputs off the field. In the meantime, we will be reviewing potential replacement options for the remainder of the season."
Rajasthan, led by India's Sanju Samson, will next play Delhi Capitals in Mumbai on Thursday.
An England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman said: "We are aware (of Stokes' injury) and he will be assessed over the coming days on the extent of the seriousness of the injury. At that point we will confirm the next steps.
"In addition, ECB medical and our UK hand specialist consultant are both involved."
Royals are also awaiting on the fitness of England fast bowler Jofra Archer who missed the start of the Twenty20 tournament due to elbow and finger injuries.
Archer, last season's IPL most valuable player, is on a $1.1 million contract with Rajasthan.
England will want him and Stokes fully fit ahead of Test series against New Zealand and India, the T20 World Cup and the Ashes this year.
"His (Archer's) value to world cricket and to England cricket is always part of our decision-making process and we are always guided by the experts in English cricket who look after Jofra to guide us on how we could support that journey," said Rajasthan director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara.
Stokes, who was bought by Royals for $1.96 million in 2018, scored 285 runs including an unbeaten 107 in the previous edition that took place in the United Arab Emirates.
Royals finished bottom of the eight-team table last year with Stokes only joining the team late due to his late father's illness.
The 14th edition of the IPL began last week behind closed doors amid a deadly surge in the coronavirus pandemic across South Asia.