BEN STOKES broke his hand in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub.
The ECB has confirmed the England all-rounder suffered a “minor fracture” in his right hand in the incident.
Stokes, 26, spent a night in police cells after being arrested on suspicion of assault after a 27-year-old man was hospitalised with facial injuries.
As revealed by The Sun, the Durham all-rounder was then sent for an X-ray amid fears he could be ruled out for up to 12 weeks.
But the damage is less severe than first suspected and the shamed cricket superstar has still been named in England’s squad for this winter’s Ashes – which begins on November 23 at the Gabba in Brisbane.
England chiefs have launched a probe which could still lead to Stokes being sacked as vice-captain and other team-mates facing disciplinary action.
Stokes might also have to miss all of the Ashes tour if Avon and Somerset Police press charges and he faces a court trial.
Strauss, head coach Trevor Bayliss and the rest of the management were discussing last night whether Stokes should be sacked as Joe Root’s deputy.
Ben Stokes faces England axe after shocking video shows him punching TWO men
WWE legend seems to admit he’s ‘fighting urge to have sex with his daughter’
Roy Keane tips Man Utd to win Prem and challenge in Europe after Moscow rout
REDDY FOR BED
Man Utd return from Moscow at 4am – as sleepy Romelu Lukaku poses with a fan
Lewis Hamilton to release his own MV Agusta motorcycle after teasing announcement
Man United boss Jose Mourinho lining up swoop for Roma star Radja Nainggolan
ATLETICO 1 CHELSEA 2
Batshuayi scores dramatic last-gasp winner to stun Atleti in Madrid
There is a precedent – Andrew Flintoff was dumped as vice-captain because of the infamous ‘Fredalo’ incident at the 2007 World Cup when he drunkenly took a pedalo to sea.
Other England players could also be sucked into the scandal.
Strauss will demand to know the whereabouts of players after the game on Sunday and what time they returned to the team hotel.
Root’s Ashes squad will be announced on Wednesday and the party is due to fly to Australia on October 28, with the First Test in Brisbane on November 23.
Stokes has been released from the cells pending an investigation, but has been axed from the fourth one-day international ODI against the West Indies at the Kia Oval.
But he is almost certain to be named in the Ashes party – at least until the police enquiries are concluded and the ECB find out exactly what happened.
Cops were called to a “disorder” in the Clifton Triangle area of Bristol at about 2.35am on Monday.
The 26-year-old all-rounder was arrested outside the Mbargo nightclub on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and later released under investigation.
Stokes had been drinking and partying following England’s 124-run victory in the third ODI against the Windies on Sunday.
Stokes’ England team-mate Alex Hales has voluntarily returned to Bristol to help police with their inquiries and also misses today’s Oval ODI so Kent’s Sam Billings has been called up to the squad.
England’s white-ball captain Eoin Morgan said: “It has been a bit of a distraction,” while an ECB statement confirmed “Stokes was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning, following an incident in Bristol.
“He was held overnight and released under investigation – without charge – late on Monday and will not join the team in London.
“Hales, who was with Stokes on Sunday night, did not train this morning and has returned voluntarily to Bristol today to help police with their inquiries.
“We cannot offer further detail at this stage but will provide any updates when we can.”