Cape Town - Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews will miss the first Test against Pakistan, starting on September 28, after sustaining a calf injury during training.
The Asian side will already be without limited-overs captain Upul Tharanga for the two-match series in the UAE after he decided to take a six-month break from the longest format of the game.
The news about Mathews will come as big blow to Sri Lanka as they embark on the tour to the UAE after being hammered at home by India in all three formats.
The 30-year-old former skipper is one of the most experienced players in the Sri Lanka squad and boasts a Test batting average of almost 45 after 69 matches.
Mathews was also prolific with the willow the last time he played in the UAE, hitting 412 runs at an average of 103 in 2013-14.
The last year has seen Mathews miss a number of games through injury.
He tore his hamstring in January in South Africa and was out for close to six months.