Melbourne: Sri Lanka's gloom over their shattering innings capitulation to Australia deepened with news on Friday that star batsman Kumar Sangakkara will miss the rest of the tour with a fractured finger. Sangakkara, who joined the exclusive 10,000-run Test club with his 58 in the first innings of the second Melbourne Test, is booked in for surgery on a fractured left index finger after being struck on the glove by rampant Mitchell Johnson.
Sangakkara will be out for between six to eight weeks, meaning he will miss Sri Lanka's final Test in Sydney, along with five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games over the next month. Sri Lanka will be struggling to field 11 fit players from their tour squad with three other players injured from the first two Tests of the Australia series.
Wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene has a hairline thumb fracture after also being struck by a Johnson delivery and pace bowlers Chanaka Welegedara (hamstring) and Nuwan Kulasekara (ribs) are unlikely to be fit.
"Kumar is definitely going to be out for the whole tour [Test and one-dayers]. We've just got news that he's got a fracture, so he might undergo an operation tonight or tomorrow," skipper Mahela Jayawardene said. "He'll be out for between six to eight weeks depending on the seriousness of the fracture."
Jayawardene has not given up on the prospects of his namesake playing in Sydney, given the early finish to the second Melbourne Test. "We want to give Prasanna Jayawardene a few more days to see how well he can go through the pain," he said. "It's a small fracture on his thumb, so given the situation, we did not want him to bat today but we'll assess over the next few days leading up to Sydney.
"If he's not fit, then Dinesh Chandimal is our reserve wicketkeeper and he'll come into the team as a wicketkeeper-batsman."
The skipper said Welegedara is also out with a torn hamstring while scans have revealed that Kulasekara has a cracked rib.
Jayawardene said the Sri Lankan team had to regroup after their crushing innings and 201-run defeat to remain win-less in 12 Tests in Australia. "We were very disappointed with the way we performed. We need to sit down and discuss how we go about things for the rest of the series," he said.
"The injuries are something we can't control. We need to show more character, we need to see something more from the players, we need to come up better and all of us to take responsibility. Today we needed to buckle down and bat but we lost two quick wickets in the first over and that gave them the momentum and we kept losing wickets.
"There were loose shots, there was a loss of concentration, but at the same time the Australians played some really good cricket as well. We need to step up to the plate, we need to show more character and really dig deep to see how we can perform here."