Jofra Archer is fighting a physical as well as a mental battle, said Zaheer Khan after the England pacer made a promising return to competitive cricket after a 541-day absence due to multiple injuries.
Archer took three wickets in his four overs in his comeback game on Tuesday night, helping MI Cape Town beat Paarl Royals in the opening game of the inaugural SA20.
IPL giants Mumbai Indians have invested heavily in the 27-year-old Archer and they bought him ahead of the 2022 edition even thought he was not going be available for the entire season.
Zaheer is director of cricket at Mumbai Indians.
"It has to be an emotional one for him as well. When you are playing after so long, pretty much your career is under scrutiny, how you are going to come back. You have to put in a whole lot of hard work, you need to be very patient as well.
"So, it is not just the physical battle which he must be fighting, it is mental battle as well. It's not easy for anyone to be away from the game for that long. Injury is something that is not in your hands, but how you manage yourself it takes a lot of energy," the former India pacer told Sports 18.
Archer underwent four operations in a span of 15 months to regain full fitness. He suffered a freak finger injury in 2021, followed by two elbow operations before treating a stress fracture on his lower back.