Malinga, the IPL’s highest all-time wicket-taker, has flown back to Sri Lanka from India where he had been with his Mumbai Indians team, but had not played in any of their three matches.
“MI’s star pacer, Lasith Malinga has been ruled out of IPL 2016 due to a knee injury,” the team wrote on their official Twitter handle late Sunday.
“Malinga was expected to miss the first few matches of MI’s IPL ’16 campaign but the recovery period is longer than previously expected.
“MI will now look for a worthy replacement for Lasith Malinga this season,” the team said.
Sri Lankan Cricket on Sunday warned Malinga against playing in the lucrative Twenty20 league without first getting clearance from the board.
Malinga is slated to undergo a fitness assessment on Wednesday in Colombo after which “the board will decide what course of action will be taken”.
The injury casts doubt over his availability for Sri Lanka’s tour of England starting next month.
Malinga was dropped as Sri Lankan captain on the eve of the World T20 in India in March-April because of injury after presiding over Sri Lanka’s dismal showing in the Asia Cup.
The 32-year-old has a long history of injury problems and retired from Test cricket in 2010, saying he was unable to withstand the rigour of five-day matches.
Nicknamed ‘Slinga Malinga’ because of his bowling action, the curly-haired Malinga is an invaluable member of the national team and a key figure for Mumbai.