Jos Buttler’s England Test future remains in balance as broken finger forces early departure from Ashes tour

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Jos Buttler will return to England early from the Ashes tour after suffering a broken finger. Captain Joe Root confirmed at the close of play on Sunday that Buttler would fly back home on Monday after fracturing his left index finger while keeping during the Sydney Test. 

It marks the end of a torrid tour for the wicketkeeper batsman, who didn’t reach 40 in any of his innings and had an up-and-down time behind the stumps.

“Jos Buttler is going to have to fly home,” captain Joe Root confirmed. “He won’t take any further part in the tour. It’s quite a serious injury. For him to front up as he did from the moment he took that knock shows how much he cares and how much it means for him to play in this test team and for England.

“The guys could all see a number of the players hurting physically and still putting in a huge amount. In many ways it lifted the rest of the group and I’m really proud of the way they stood at times while clearly in a lot of pain, to produce for England.

“There was clearly a bit of pain relief required,” Root said of England’s many injured players, which included Jonny Bairstow (right thumb impact injury) and Ben Stokes (left side strain). Both Bairstow and Stokes will travel to Hobart for the final Test but their participation remains uncertain, with both set to be assessed before the match starts on Friday.

“It’s not just a physical element but the psychological, knowing you’re going into a pressure situation not 100%. to be able to perform at the level that some of the guys did was phenomenal and shows a huge amount of character.”

Buttler will be assessed on his return to the UK by the ECB Medical Team, with an update on his rehabilitation period due later in the week. The future of Buttler’s Test career, however, now hangs in the balance for the multi-format player, especially considering the many others also in contention for the keeper spot.

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