Chennai Super Kings left-arm seamer Mukesh Choudhary is a doubtful starter for IPL 2023 as he is currently recovering from a back injury at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
It could not be confirmed whether Choudhary will miss some part of the season or the entire tournament. The uncapped 26-year-old is understood to have joined Super Kings' camp earlier this month in Chennai before heading to the NCA, but a timeframe for his return from injury could not be confirmed.
Choudhary's most recent competitive game was in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy for Maharashtra in December 2022 in Ahmedabad.
Choudhary's injury is another blow to Super Kings' seam attack that has already lost New Zealand fast bowler Kyle Jamieson, who is also down with a back injury. Deepak Chahar, the leader of the seam attack, is also working his way back from injury, as is opening batter Ruturaj Gaikwad. Allrounder Shivam Dube, too, is on the road back from an injury he sustained while bowling at the nets during the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Super Kings will also be without the Sri Lankan pair of Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana, who will link up with the franchise only after the end of Sri Lanka's six-match white-ball series in New Zealand on April 8.
If Choudhary doesn't recover in time, it will leave Super Kings without a left-arm seamer in their squad. He was one of the finds of the last IPL season, emerging as the team's joint-highest wicket-taker, with 16 strikes in 13 games at an economy rate of 9.31. Eleven of those wickets came in the powerplay, the joint-most by any bowler during this phase in the tournament.
Delhi's Simarjeet Singh and Mumbai's Tushar Deshpande, who recently won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title, are the reserve pace-bowling options for Super Kings. Super Kings play the first game of the season against defending champions Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad on March 31.
With inputs from Shashank Kishore