LEEDS - England all-rounder Ben Stokes is facing several weeks on the sidelines after being ruled out of the second Test against Sri Lanka with a knee injury.

Stokes has been replaced in England’s 12-man squad by Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes. Durham star Stokes jarred his left knee during England’s crushing innings and 88-run win in the first Test at Headingley. He will now miss the second of the three-match series, which starts at his Chester-le-Street home ground on Friday.

The 24-year-old, who is due to see a specialist on Tuesday, could be out of action for as long as six weeks. That would see him miss both the final two Tests against Sri Lanka and the subsequent five-match one-day international series with the islanders starting on June 21. And with England also facing Pakistan in a four-Test series that gets underway at Lord’s in July, team management will be wary of rushing key player Stokes back into the side.

An England and Wales Cricket Board statement issued Monday said: “England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the second Investec Test at Emirates Riverside after sustaining a left knee injury during England’s first Test victory at Headingley. “Following a scan (on Sunday) and review by the medical team, it was advised that Stokes would be unavailable for the match in Durham. “The 24-year-old will be reviewed by a consultant (on Tuesday), to decide on a management plan.”

Woakes is now in the hunt for a seventh Test cap. His last appearance came against South Africa at Centurion in January, a match where England lost but won the series. He will compete for a place in England’s X1 against uncapped Nottinghamshire quick Jake Ball, in the squad at Headingley.

Both players will join up with the England squad in Durham after leaving their ongoing matches in the County Championship on Monday.  Meanwhile, Sri Lanka have confirmed that Kusal Perera will be joining their squad. Perera was cleared to play again two weeks ago after the International Cricket Council lifted a provisional doping ban and all associated charges against him following concerns over the reliability of the drug test carried out by a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory in Qatar.

The wicket-keeper/batsman’s arrival, possibly in time for the second Test, will change the balance of Sri Lanka’s squad as he is replacing injured paceman Dhammika Prasad, who has returned home with a shoulder injury. “Kusal will join the team as soon as possible and acclimatise, so he can do some serious work with the bat,” Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya told Cricinfo.


Alastair Cook (Essex) (capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire, wkt), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Nick Compton (Middlesex), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), James Vince (Hampshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).