Jos Buttler is set to miss the rest of England’s white-ball summer with the calf injury he sustained during the Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka.
Buttler, England’s limited-overs vice-captain and wicketkeeper, had already been ruled out of the three-match one-day series against Sri Lanka that begins at Durham on Tuesday with the tear to his calf that was discovered following his unbeaten, match-winning 68 in the opening T20 international against the same opposition in Cardiff last Wednesday.
Now England are set to rule Buttler out of next month’s one-day and T20 series against Pakistan in a bid to ensure he is fully fit for the five-Test series against India that starts on 4 August.
England are expected to name their squads for both series against Pakistan this week, with white-ball captain Eoin Morgan admitting Buttler faces an extended spell on the sidelines.
“Jos is out currently,” he said. “Calves are sometimes difficult to come back with so we’ll be constantly monitoring that. Certainly, at the moment, it’s not a priority Jos is 100% fit for the white-ball stuff. Given the cricket he has coming up with Tests, a T20 World Cup and a possible Ashes down the line, I think there are other priorities he needs to be fit for.”
There is more positive news for England concerning Ben Stokes, who is set to return for the three T20s against Pakistan that start on 16 July. The all-rounder fractured a finger playing in the Indian Premier League in April but has proved his fitness by coming through four T20 Blast matches for Durham over the past week.
Morgan, meanwhile, has offered Tymal Mills an avenue back into England’s T20 squad before this autumn’s World Cup.
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It is four years since the Sussex fast bowler, 28, played the last of his four T20 internationals for England. Injuries have blighted his career since yet a return to fitness and the promise of a big summer in the inaugural edition of the Hundred may offer Mills a route back into England’s plans.
Morgan said: “Tymal Mills could easily present a case. He is an outstanding bowler, and we’ve always been in communication with him, wanting him to get fit, play as much cricket as possible, and leave him alone until the World Cup comes.
“Playing for Sussex, given the journey that he’s been on, is way better for him than trying to get fit for sporadic T20 series through the year. He’s a good example, along with a few other guys that could present a really strong case throughout the Hundred.”