Sri Lanka news April 25, 2016

SLC hopeful of Kaushal Silva recovery

Kaushal Silva was hit on the back of the head while fielding in a practice match in Pallekele © AFP

Sri Lanka Cricket is optimistic about Kaushal Silva's availability for the forthcoming Test series against England in May. The 29-year old opening batsman had been struck on the back of his head while fielding in a Pallekele practice match on Sunday and was airlifted to a hospital in Colombo as a precautionary measure. Initial CAT scans indicated he was out of danger.

"Kaushal appears to be okay now," SLC secretary Mohan de Silva said on Monday. "They were to take another scan today, and depending on that, he may be discharged late this evening."

Silva is almost certain to miss at least a week of training as he recovers from the injury. He sustained it at short leg, struck by a powerful sweep from Dinesh Chandimal. The ball is said to have made impact with the helmet's padded rear attachment, a design feature that came into use following the death of Philip Hughes. Team-mates believe Silva would have suffered a more substantial injury had he been wearing a helmet without that added protection.

"Maybe in a week or 10 days, he might be able to start playing again, according to the coach [Graham Ford]," de Silva said. "He looks good for the tour, but the coach doesn't want to risk him again immediately. We'll have to wait for another couple of days to determine exactly what the situation is."

With the Sri Lankan squad not scheduled to depart for England until May 3, Silva has some time to get better and a century in that practice match before he was injured adds to his chances of a comeback. Silva had been dropped for the December tour of New Zealand, but had opened the batting for Sri Lanka from January 2013 to November 2015. He had hit twin fifties at Lord's in Sri Lanka's most recent tour to England in 2014.

The Sri Lankan selectors have picked a preliminary 20-member team which includes three specialist openers - Silva, Dimuth Karunaratne and Tharanga Paranavitana - and will trim it on Wednesday.

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

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