England’s Rory Burns is set to miss four months of cricket following surgery after injuring himself playing football.
The opening batsman will not feature in the March tour against Sri Lanka after rupturing ankle ligaments while warming up ahead of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands.
A statement from the ECB confirmed the Surrey captain’s absence:
“England opening batsman Rory Burns has undergone successful surgery on ruptured ligaments in his left ankle.
“Surgery took place in London on Monday afternoon. The Surrey captain is expected to be out of action for up to four months.
“He will miss England’s Test tour of Sri Lanka in March and is aiming to return to play with Surrey in the County Championship at the beginning of the 2020 season in April.
“Burns sustained the injury in warm-up during the final practice ahead of the second Test match in Cape Town last Thursday, January 2 2020.”
Burns’ injury has spelled the end of football as the team’s preferred warm-up activity, with head coach Chris Silverwood and director of men’s cricket Ashley Giles jointly deciding the risks outweighed the benefits.
The 29-year-old left-hander has scored two centuries and six fifties in 15 Tests since his debut in 2018.
His absence will give an extended chance for Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley to impress at the top of the order, as well as making a Keaton Jennings recall for Sri Lanka – where he scored a hundred in Galle last time out – highly likely.
Additional reporting from PA