Ben Stokes says his recovery from a broken finger is going well and he hopes to be back in action sooner than feared.

The Cumbrian all-rounder was initially expected to be sidelined for three months after suffering the injury playing in the Indian Premier League.

But the England star is optimistic that he could be able to return sooner than that.

Stokes suffered the injury whilst taking a catch in the deep in the first IPL game with Rajasthan Royals.

The 29-year-old damaged his left index finger and had to undergo surgery.

The Cockermouth star admitted it was a huge blow to suffer the injury but has said his recovery is on track.

“I actively try to avoid surgery wherever possible because I know it means a longer period out of action and there can be complications that can make things worse, so heading back to the UK to have the procedure was not a great feeling,” he said, writing in The Mirror, for whom he is a columnist.

“But as I sit here now, with a splint on my index and middle finger, knowing that the operation has been a big success thanks to the skills of my surgeon Doug Campbell, I’m feeling pretty good about things.

“I can’t put a date on when I’ll be back playing again, but as long as things progress as well as they have then I should hope it will be well before the three months that was first feared and more like seven, eight, or nine weeks.”

Stokes’ injury meat he had to leave the tournament early – with the IPL having subsequently been suspended because of the Covid-19 crisis in India.

It is hoped the tournament could be rearranged, but Stokes admitted “it could be difficult” for England players to take part at a later stage this year because of the international calendar.