Injured batsman Angelo Mathews is ruled out of this month's two-match Test series against Australia but expects to return for the South African series in mid February, if all goes well.
Sri Lanka will play two Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is against South Africa during their last international tour before the World Cup in England and Mathews presence is important, not only for the series, but also to keep him fit for the global showpiece in June.
Mathews picked up a grade two hamstring injury on his left leg while completing a run late in the afternoon session on day four of the Christchurch Test.
He was sent to Victoria for assessment and to work with Alex Kountouris, Manager Cricket Australia Sports Science and Sports Medicine. Mathews will continue his rehab until the end of this week in Australia before heading home.
“This is frustrating,” Mathews said, over the phone from Australia.
“I have been training really hard and they don’t see anything wrong with my methods. What they think is that it might even be genetics. If that's the case, there’s very little I can do. Through training, I can certainly minimize the effects but not completely cure it”.
Mathews has had multiple hamstring injuries on his right leg in 2017.
This saw him taking a lengthy break early last year to rehabilitate his troubled leg.
"The good thing is I did play a few series without an injury last year since returning to the side after a long injury lay-off," he said.
"Unfortunately, the injury now is on the other [left] leg."
For the first time in an year, Mathews, started to bowl during the New Zealand Tests, hoping to recover his rhythm before the World Cup.
He may now have to give up completely in order to prolong his career.
Sri Lanka Cricket, however, said they are yet to make a final decision on Mathews’ rehabilitation plan.
“We are awaiting reports from Australia to decide upon the next course of action,” said Asanka Gurusinha, Chief Cricket Operations Manager.
A vital cog in Sri Lanka’s wheel, Mathews made his international debut in 2008, but his career has suffered a serious setback due to injuries since late 2016.
Since November 28, 2008, till December 31, 2017, he has played more international matches--338 games scoring 11034 runs--than any other player across all formats.
He has also picked up 184 wickets during the same period.
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