Ben Stokes could return to action next month, England's head coach has revealed.

Chris Silverwood today said the Cumbrian could make his comeback from a broken finger soon.

Silverwood said Stokes could feature for Durham in the Vitality Blast competition.

The all-rounder will be in line to play for his county in the T20 tournament provided his injury recovery continues to go to plan.

Silverwood was speaking at the announcement of the England squad for the forthcoming New Zealand Test series.

Stokes was not included as he continues his comeback from the injury he suffered in the Indian Premier League.

The coach said of the Cockermouth star: “Ben Stokes is making excellent progress following his fractured left index finger sustained last month in the Indian Premier League.

"If he continues to improve without any impact on his rehabilitation, we could see him return next month for Durham in the Vitality Blast competition.

"We will assess him again towards the end of this month."

Stokes last week said his recovery was going better than initially feared.

The 29-year-old had been concerned that he could face a three-month lay-off.

But he is now eyeing a quicker return, telling the Mirror: “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.”