England’s fielding coach, Carl Hopkinson, has rejected the idea that English stalwart Ben Stokes might be permitted to return home early from the 2023 World Cup to undergo knee surgery. Stokes has been dealing with a persistent left knee injury for over 18 months, which has restricted him from playing as a specialist batter due to the strain that bowling puts on his body.
On November 3, 2023, during the World Cup, Stokes announced his decision to have surgery after the tournament to address this long-standing issue. Despite the challenges posed by his injury, the English all-rounder Stokes remained hopeful about his recovery and his return to cricket.
The surgery was scheduled to occur immediately after England’s World Cup campaign, with the aim of restoring his all-rounder status in time for the Test tour of India early the following year. He expressed confidence that the surgery would not hinder his participation in the series in India.
Speaking at a press conference before the England vs. Netherlands match on November 7, Hopkinson clarified that there have been no discussions about Stokes leaving the tournament early for his surgery. Hopkinson emphasized that Ben Stokes is entirely focused on winning matches for his team and will undergo the planned surgery after the tournament.
“I just got asked that question. I mean, I think, knowing Ben, like I do and like you do, he’ll want to try and play the next game in front of him and try and win that for England. He’s about winning games of cricket for England, so I’d imagine that’s what he’ll be thinking about first and foremost. Once he’s obviously made that decision to have the operation, that’s obviously booked in and that’s what he’s going to do. It’s not before this tournament finishes. So, I’d imagine that’s what Ben will be thinking,” explained Hopkinson.