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England wait on Jonny Bairstow ankle injury with Phil Salt potential back-up

Dawid Malan set to miss Yorkshire's next Blast game as he manages Achilles problem

George Dobell
George Dobell
Jonny Bairstow tees off, India vs England, 1st T20I, Ahmedabad, March 12, 2021

Jonny Bairstow is an injury doubt for England's T20Is against Sri Lanka  •  BCCI

England will wait for the result of scans on Jonny Bairstow's right ankle before deciding on whether to call up a replacement batter for their T20I squad to play Sri Lanka.
Bairstow suffered the injury while batting for Yorkshire on Wednesday evening. He was able to continue to bat, going on to a 48-ball century, but was limping heavily, requiring a runner, and was later unable to field. He left the ground wearing a moonboot and was due to undergo a scan on Thursday. The results are expected to be known within 24 hours.
"His ankle has blown up," the Yorkshire coach, Andrew Gale said afterwards. "Hopefully it won't be a ligament tear. It might just be a rolled ankle. A week later they are not as bad as you think or they could be six to eight weeks."
If Bairstow is ruled out - and the manner in which he collapsed after completing a run during the innings was not at all promising - there may be consternation from the England management that he continued to bat. While he hit the ball beautifully, he could have exacerbated the injury and extended his period of absence from the game.
Bairstow's Yorkshire team-mate, Dawid Malan, also misses Friday night's Vitality Blast match against Durham as he seeks to manage an Achilles problem. He is not thought to be a significant risk ahead of the T20I series against Sri Lanka which starts on Wednesday.
If there are doubts over the fitness of either Bairstow or Malan then England would be expected to add a batter to the squad. While Nottinghamshire pair Alex Hales and Joe Clarke both have strong cases - Hales scored an unbeaten 96 against Durham on Tuesday while Clarke is averaging more than 50 with a strike rate above 200 - it may be that Sussex's Phil Salt, who has only been dismissed once in this year's Blast, is best placed to take advantage.
There was some brighter fitness news for England. Reece Topley, the left-arm seamer, is expected to return to bowling on Saturday and, if he is able to get through a couple of T20 games, could be added to the England squad at some stage, while Ben Stokes is also closing in on a return and may feature for Durham on Sunday.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo