World Cup 2015: Sri Lanka March 1, 2015

Herath in doubt for Australia game

Rangana Herath left the field in the penultimate over of England's innings after being struck on the finger © AFP

Rangana Herath is in doubt for Sri Lanka's match against Australia next Sunday, after splitting the skin on the inside of his spinning finger during the match against England. Herath required four stitches on his left index finger, and will also undergo an X-ray to ensure there is no damage to the bone.

"The doctor says he's out for 8-10 days, but we'll see how he heals up and then reassess," team manager Michael de Zoysa said. The injury doesn't necessarily rule out Herath's availability for the Australia game, but the location of the tear is almost certain to hamper the spin he imparts on the ball, and indeed his grip.

Herath sustained the injury off the fifth ball of the penultimate over of England's innings, when he attempted to take a return catch off after Jos Buttler drove the ball forcefully at him. The ball struck his finger and continued its course, leaving Herath clutching his hand as he fell on the turf in agony. He had one more ball to deliver in the over, but was forced to leave the ground immediately with the physiotherapist, as blood began flowing from the wound.

Herath's potential absence is a blow for Sri Lanka, who have relied on the control he provides through the middle overs, and have also historically troubled Australia with spin at the SCG. They do have the services of Sachithra Senanayake to call on - though he hasn't yet played a game at the World Cup. Tillakaratne Dilshan's offspin is the only other significant slow-bowling option in the squad.

Herath is the third Sri Lanka player to be injured in the approach or during the course of the World Cup. Unlike Dhammika Prasad and Jeevan Mendis, however, he is expected to remain with the team, with a view to him returning to the XI as soon as the stitches heal sufficiently.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

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