Pallekele - Australian spinner Steve
O'Keefe was set to return home after injuring his hamstring during the ongoing
opening Test against Sri Lanka in Pallekele, according to a statement on
O'Keefe, who impressed selectors with a
10-wicket haul in Australia's only practice game in Sri Lanka, had to leave the
field in the middle of his 17th over of the second innings on day three
"Initial assessment indicates a
moderate grade hamstring injury which means it is highly unlikely that he will
be available for the remainder of the Test series," Australian
physiotherapist David Beakley said in the Cricket Australia statement.
"Steve will remain with the squad in
Kandy until the end of the Test and will undertake imaging on the injury upon
his return to Australia," added Beakley.
Left-arm spinner Jon Holland has been
called up to the Australian squad to replace O'Keefe, who picked up three
wickets in the match, which looks evenly poised, before getting injured.
"It is incredibly disappointing for
Steve to get this injury and I really feel for him. He was bowling well in the
Test and had caused some trouble to Sri Lanka's top order," said
Australian selector Rod Marsh.
"The selectors have decided to go for
a like-for-like replacement for Steve, in Jon Holland.
"He will be on a plane as soon as
possible and is a strong chance to make his debut in the Galle Test,"