IPL news April 24, 2012

Malinga set to return to Mumbai Indians

Lasith Malinga, the Mumbai Indians fast bowler, has recovered from his back injury and will rejoin his franchise on April 25, ESPNcricinfo has learned. Malinga had flown to Sri Lanka on the morning of April 16 for rest and treatment for back soreness. His last IPL game was on April 11 against Rajasthan Royals but he missed only two matches because Mumbai Indians have had a five-day and a six-day break between games.

Malinga could be back in action as soon as Mumbai Indians' match against Delhi Daredevils on April 27, or against Deccan Chargers on April 29. This is the second time he has been sidelined with a back strain over the last 14 months. He also missed Sri Lanka's opening two games in the 2011 World Cup with a similar problem.

Mumbai Indians lost both the games Malinga missed. They were bowled out for 92 by Delhi Daredevils and failed to defend a total of 163 against Kings XI Punjab, as Munaf Patel and RP Singh conceded 69 runs in seven overs.

Malinga is the all-time leading wicket-taker in the IPL and was in good form again this season. Before his injury he had taken nine wickets from four games at an economy-rate of 4.54. Injuries have been a problem for Malinga in recent years. Aside from his back problems, a knee injury he picked up during Sri Lanka's Australia tour in 2007 threatened to cut short his career and, in April, 2011, he retired from Tests in order to spare his knee further damage.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo