England suffer injury blow as Mark Wood ruled out of Sri Lanka tour with side strain

England bowler Mark Wood is set for another spell on the sidelines after being ruled out of next month’s tour of Sri Lanka with a side strain.

It’s a huge blow for England, with Wood having been a pivotal figure during the recent Test and T20 series wins in South Africa, which was broadcast exclusively across the talkSPORT network.

Wood starred in the fourth Test in South Africa, taking nine wickets to help the tourists close out a 3-1 series victory

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Wood starred in the fourth Test in South Africa, taking nine wickets to help the tourists close out a 3-1 series victory

The Durham man had only just returned from a similar injury that he picked up helping England win the 50-over World Cup in July.

Wood’s performances for his country have been world class with his spell in St Lucia against West Indies last year rated as arguably the fastest ever in England’s Test history.

He then took vital wickets on the way to England winning their first ever World Cup.

Many felt if he had been fit for The Ashes then England would have done better than record a 2-2 draw in the series, which left the urn in possession of the Aussies.

Wood only returned to Test action in January, 11 months after his last red-ball appearance

AFP

Wood only returned to Test action in January, 11 months after his last red-ball appearance

England head coach Chris Silverwood will be disappointed to now lose Wood for the two-Test series in Sri Lanka, which starts on March 19 in Galle.

However, fellow Durham man and former England fast bowler Steve Harmison believes the 30-year-old’s absence could come as a blessing in disguise, ahead of a busy summer which includes home matches with the West Indies, Australia, Pakistan and Ireland.

“Playing back-to-back Tests in South Africa and then the limited overs matches was always going to be a tough ask,” Harmison told talkSPORT.

“I wonder if they’d have done that if Jofra Archer had been fit?”However, it won’t be the worst thing in the world missing out on the Sri Lanka series with their spin-friendly pitches.

“Rather than carrying drinks or bowling on flat tracks, it’s best for Mark to get himself ready for the summer and for the World T20.

“With an Ashes series at the end of next year, and his brilliant record in short form cricket, England will be desperate to have Wood in Australia for the T20 World Cup. And so missing Sri Lanka might end up being a good thing.”