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Watch Ben Stokes back batting in the nets following broken finger layoff in massive boost for England’s Ashes hopes

BEN STOKES has started hitting balls as England described his mood as one of “energy and excitement.”

The all-rounder posted a video on social media of him batting against underarm throws from England physio Craig de Weymarn.

Stokes has started hitting balls again following his surgery last week
The all-rounder shared his excitement over his progress on social media

He joked that he initially struggled to locate the middle of his bat but then wrote: “Great to be back hitting balls.”

Stokes has made rapid progress since undergoing a second operation on his left index finger last Monday.

After the successful surgery, it was expected that the 30-year-old would miss the Ashes due to a lengthy rehabilitation period.

However, he boosted England’s hopes when he revealed he could grip a bat for the first time since April on social media a few days ago.

The pain that dogged him throughout the summer has virtually gone and England say his morale is on the rise.

Stokes took an indefinite break from cricket during the summer to prioritise his mental health and try to repair the finger he first broke playing in the IPL in April.


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It remains a long shot that he will take part in the Ashes but the chances are rising.

ECB performance director Mo Bobat said: “It’s hugely positive that Ben has started hitting balls.

“It’s pleasing that we’ve noticed in our communications with him that he has energy and excitement and he is trusting his finger again.

“Given what he has experienced, it is important we move at the right pace. There is certainly no pressure and expectation from us. He can progress at the rate he would like to.

“Ben is like most of us – if there is something you love doing and feel you are good at, it’s tough to take when you are not able to do it.

“The most recent medical procedure and removing the scar tissue has helped.”

Ben Stokes winces after breaking his finger taking a catch in the IPL

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