Sri Lanka bowler Lasith Malinga faces missing much of his team's international schedule in 2016 as he continues to nurse a "substantial" knee injury. The 32-year-old was absent from the T20 World Cup and has been ruled out of the ongoing Indian Premier League due to the problem and is now set to sit out the summer tour of England and the one-day matches against Australia later in the summer.
England face Sri Lanka in three Tests, five one-day internationals and a one-off T20 starting on 19 May, but bone bruising looks set to rule Malinga out for the entire tour as he continues to rest the issue. The nation's medical team will assess his condition in the coming months and have warned any extra stress on the current injury could lead to a fracture. The final match, the T20, is on 5 July at the Rose Bowl.
"Malinga is suffering from a stress reaction in the knee," said SLC medical committee chairman Dr Harindu Wijesinghe said, according to ESPN Cricinfo. "This has been caused by pressure being put on the knee. There is a chance that a stress reaction could worsen to a stress fracture, at which point he would need surgery.
"A few doctors have been advising Malinga, and we feel that he needs to rest his knee, while undergoing physiotherapy and strengthening. Only after seeing how he the injury reacts to this, will we be able to say how long he might be unavailable. It might be a number of months before we decide to scan and test him again. It's difficult to put a time frame on his recovery."
Australia travel to the sub-continent for five ODIs and two T20s starting on 21 August and should Malinga's condition fail to improve he could face being on the sidelines until the tour of South Africa next winter. The loss of the seamer, who has taken 101 Test wickets at an average of 33.15, means much of the onus will be on Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal to lead the attack this summer.