Jonny Bairstow faces desperate fight for fitness ahead of First Test in Sri Lanka after suffering ankle injury playing football

JONNY BAIRSTOW faces a desperate race to be fit for the First Test against Sri Lanka.

Bairstow twisted his right ankle while playing football last Friday and a scan yesterday revealed ligament damage.

 Johhny Bairstow is a First Test doubt after ligament damage playing football

AP:Associated Press
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Johhny Bairstow is a First Test doubt after ligament damage playing football

He was officially ruled out of the remainder of England’s white-ball tour — the final 50-over match here tomorrow and Saturday’s T20 game.

The Yorkshire wicketkeeper is also struggling to be fit for England’s pair of two-day matches that precede the First Test in Galle on November 6.

Bairstow’s right foot is encased in a surgical boot after tripping over the ball during England’s regular kickabout.

He was not tackled by another player.

 Jonny Bairstow falls to the ground while playing football in a practice session

Reuters
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Jonny Bairstow falls to the ground while playing football in a practice session
 England will have to do without Jonny Bairstow for the rest of the white-ball tour

AP:Associated Press
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England will have to do without Jonny Bairstow for the rest of the white-ball tour

England have no immediate plans to call up a replacement but Surrey stumper Ben Foakes would be the man if needed.

One-day captain Eoin Morgan has no concerns about the team playing football and there are no plans to ban it.

In 2009, kickabouts were scrapped for several years when Kent’s Joe Denly suffered bone bruising after being tackled by Owais Shah.

All-rounder Moeen Ali added: “We love playing football, it sometimes makes our day.

This is probably the first injury we’ve had in three years.

 Wickie-batsman Jonny Bairstow might be feeling a bit sheepish as well as frustrated after hurting himself tripping overt a football during a kick-about in training with his England team-mates

Reuters
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Wickie-batsman Jonny Bairstow might be feeling a bit sheepish as well as frustrated after hurting himself tripping overt a football during a kick-about in training with his England team-mates

Football is a big part of the way we are as a team, it brings a lot of banter into the dressing room.

“We talk more about football than cricket sometimes!”

Moeen also insisted his inseparable friend and spin twin Adil Rashid is now the best one-day slow bowler in the world.

He explained: “Adil has always had the ability but now I think he’s at his peak. He has all the skills and now has found his pace and trajectory. His beard is getting better, too!”

JONNY BAIRSTOW faces a desperate race to be fit for the First Test against Sri Lanka.