(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Lasith Malinga will be unavailable for the forthcoming T20 and ODI series in South Africa after a bout of dengue forced a setback in his return from injury.
A bone bruise in his left knee had forced Malinga to withdraw from the World T20 last year.
Malinga’s management team has confirmed that he had returned to training in September, and had been increasing his workload in careful increments in order to regain match fitness without aggravating the injury.
ESPNCricinfo reported that Malinga’s illness prior to Christmas had prompted him to slow the increase in intensity of his training, however, and he will now only attempt to return in time for the three-match T20 series against Australia, scheduled to begin on the 17th of February.
Malinga has played only one international match since November 2015, with multiple leg injuries having caused him substantial problems since the middle of 2014.
In his absence, Sri Lanka will have to pick their frontline seamers from a pace battery that includes Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Gamage.
The first of the three T20s is scheduled for 20th January; the first of the five ODIs for January 28.