England and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of action for six months after undergoing surgery on his right index finger.
The 20-year-old travelled to America for the operation, which was designed to correct a complex fracture dislocation which had failed to heal despite previous surgery in the United Kingdom.
Despite undergoing a prolonged recovery and rehabilitation programme, Stokes has been unable to resume bowling since he sustained the initial injury while playing for Durham against Lancashire back in May.
Following his latest operation, Stokes is not expected to return until the beginning of the 2012 domestic season.
Stokes said: "It's always frustrating to be on the sidelines for any length of time and I am naturally disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to be considered for selection for England this winter.
"My priority now will be to work hard on my rehabilitation over the next six months and make sure I am fully fit and available to start the season with Durham next April."