Stokes ‘devastated’ to miss Sri Lanka series

England v Sri Lanka - 1st Investec Test - Day Two - HeadingleyEngland all-rounder Ben Stokes is “devastated” to be missing the rest of the series against Sri Lanka after he underwent knee surgery on Tuesday.

Stokes suffered a cartilage tear in his left knee during the commanding innings win at Headingley and, while he has already tweeted that he expects to miss the remainder of Sri Lanka’s tour, the England and Wales Cricket Board have not offered any prognosis.

The 24-year-old wrote on Twitter: “Devastated to be missing the rest of the series, this has been a ongoing issue for 2/3 years which I’ve managed to play through until now.

“All the best to the lads in the rest of the series, see you down at @DurhamCricket in the crowd.”
Stokes is unlikely to be seen again until the start of the Pakistan series in July, though England are not yet committing to a timescale.

An ECB statement read: “Ben Stokes has undergone surgery this afternoon to address a cartilage tear in his left knee. Full details on the length of his rehabilitation will be confirmed in due course.”
In his absence, Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes, who took nine wickets on Monday to celebrate his call-up for the second Test, and the uncapped Jake Ball will have the chance to impress.

Meanwhile, Stokes’ fellow international Reece Topley has also been ruled out for three months with “a partial stress fracture of the lumbar spine” which is likely to keep him sidelined for most of the season.
Hampshire seamer Topley, who was in England’s World Twenty20 squad and in contention to feature in all this summer’s white ball cricket, has been out since April 16 with a fractured thumb but now has much bigger problems to contend with.

“Reece Topley has been diagnosed with a partial stress fracture of the lumbar spine and will require a significant period of rehabilitation,” the ECB said.

“He will miss the next three months and will aim for a return for Hampshire before the end of the season.”

There was better news for David Willey, who has a small abdominal tear and is aiming to make his return to action in Yorkshire’s NatWest T20 Blast match at Worcestershire on June 2.
Mark Wood, who missed the winter tour of South Africa as well as the World T20 with a recurring ankle problem, is also working towards a comeback.

The Durham paceman is said by the ECB to be “progressing well” and will return to a bowling programme this week. (Courtesy Daily Mail)