Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka pace bowler Lasith Malinga has had his troublesome ankle surgically repaired in Australia.
Malinga, who will be out of action for approximately 16 weeks, has already told Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to start grooming another pace bowler to take his place in the squad in case he fails to be fully fit when the 2015 World Cup begins.
“I will do everything I can to be back for the World Cup,” Malinga said. “But I think it would be good for us to give a young bowler a few opportunities in the meantime, so that we can at least have someone prepared.
“When you have a problem in the ankle you land on in your bowling stride, it affects the pace and also the control. I did my best, but I couldn’t put as much strain on it as I usually do.”
However, it is understood that Malinga should be able to start training again by mid-January.
In fact, SLC will be keen to have Malinga participate in a couple of the seven ODIs the national team will play against New Zealand in January.
Sri Lanka physiotherapist Steve Mount explained that the aim of the surgery was to “clean up” a joint in his ankle.
“It has been a long-term issue for Lasith, and he’s had chronic pain there for some time,” Mount said. “It’s a regular complaint for fast bowlers, but it has reached a stage where his ankle didn’t respond how it previously has done to methods like cortisone injections and load monitoring.
“If everything follows the normal recovery time, he could be a chance to play in some of those New Zealand one-dayers, but we’ll also be careful not to rush him back.”
Malinga will now stay in Australia for 10 days to allow his ankle to sufficiently recover before he is flown back home.