England's power-hitter Liam Livingstone will miss the opening game for Punjab Kings in the IPL as he is yet to get a fitness clearance from the ECB after recovering from a knee injury he suffered in December.
Punjab Kings open their IPL campaign against KKR at home on April 1.
Livingstone, who is a key member of the Punjab Kings squad for his all-round abilities, has not played competitive cricket since picking up the knee injury on his Test debut in Pakistan in December.
The 29-year-old had also suffered an ankle injury during the Hundred competition at home last year.
"He is out of the first game at least as the ECB is conducting scans to determine his fitness status. He should be available from the second game onwards," an IPL source said.
Livingstone on Wednesday posted a video on social media where he is seen batting in the nets.
Last year, he had his best ever season in the IPL as he amassed 437 runs in 14 games at an average of 36.42 and a sensational strike rate of 182.08. He is known for his big-hitting prowess all around the world and has represented England in 12 ODIs and 29 T20s.
He had also picked up six wickets with his mixture of off-spin and leg-break in 2022, when Punjab finished sixth for the fourth season in a row.
Fellow Englishman Sam Curran, the highest paid player in IPL history, has already joined the Punjab squad.
Besides Livingstone, the team will also miss the services of premier pacer Kagiso Rabada, who will skip the KKR game due to national duty. He featured in the final T20 between South Africa and West Indies in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Rabada is expected to reach India on April 3, two days ahead of the away game against Rajasthan Royals.