Chris Silverwood says England may reduce Jofra Archer’s workload when he returns to fitness after the paceman suffered a low-grade stress fracture of his right elbow.

Archer flew home from the tour of South Africa last week and has been ruled out of the Test series against Sri Lanka and the Indian Premier League, although Rajasthan Royals are still hoping he can play a part in the tournament.

England Test captain Joe Root denied the paceman has been overbowled early in his international career.

Head coach Silverwood has conceded that England may need to consider using Archer in shorter spells to give him the best opportunity to stay fit.

“Things like [bowling 40 overs in an innings] we have to look at,” Silverwood said. “But sometimes, when needs must, you’ve got to do it.

“We managed Mark Wood through both the Test matches he’s played here and he’s bowled in short, sharp spells. Would we look to do that now with Jof? Yes, we probably would.”

Archer bowled more overs than any of his England team-mates last year, but Silverwood would not take a different approach if he could go back in time.

“Not really. It’s just a case of: his injury occurred, the first scan didn’t show us where it was, the second has. We can now put a plan in place and get him going for our summer,” the former England seamer said.

“Being a fast bowler is hard work. It is hard work. Ask Jimmy [Anderson], ask [Stuart] Broad, ask any of them. Being a fast bowler is hard work. It’s just how it is.”

He added: “We can’t turn the clock back, all we can do is look to the future and say, ‘Well, how are we going to do it from now on?'”