Rajasthan Royals (RR) head coach Andrew McDonald says that he is not sure about the availability of Ben Stokes for this IPL season. Ben Stokes, who had missed the second and third Tests against Pakistan,  is all likely to miss IPL because of family reasons. The head coach said that the franchise is ready to give an ample amount of time. 

"First and foremost, thoughts with the Stokes family. It's a difficult scenario, so we're giving him as much time as he needs, and connecting with him as best we can," ESPNcricinfo quoted McDonald as saying.

"So, yeah, we're not sure where Stokesy's at right now, but once it has played out, then we can make our decisions from there. But, I don't want to second-guess what will happen with him just yet," he added.

The 29-year-old overseas player is undergoing a tough life phase. Stokes' father Ged, a former New Zealand rugby league international, was admitted to hospital in Johannesburg owing serious illness last year. Currently examined with brain cancer, Stokes took to New Zealand to see his parents.

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The absence of this versatile England all-rounder, poignant in lifting the 2019 ICC World Cup Trophy, could be a big blow to the Rajasthan Royals. With terrific batting skills, the former also bowled exceptionally well.

Appointed last year as the team's head coach, McDonald is optimistically gearing up for his first IPL, the presence of a few promising players giving him reasons to hope.

"We've added some depth in terms of our left-hand batting, in particular in (Anuj) Rawat and (Yashashvi) Jaiswal among the home-grown players, so we think we've got some options there,” said McDonald.