Rory Burns (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England opener Rory Burns will be out of action for up to four months after ankle surgery and will miss the two-test tour of Sri Lanka in March, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Tuesday.

Burns was injured on Thursday while playing football to warm up for training ahead of the second test against South Africa, and was ruled out of the rest of the tour.

“England opening batsman Rory Burns has undergone successful surgery on ruptured ligaments in his left ankle,” the ECB said in a statement.

“The Surrey captain is expected to be out of action for up to four months. He will miss England’s Test tour of Sri Lanka in March.”

England have struggled to find a settled opening partnership in recent years, but Burns has brought solidity to the top of the order, and made a fighting 84 in the first test loss to South Africa in Pretoria.

Zak Crawley took his place for the test in Cape Town, but his absence in Sri Lanka could mean a recall for Keaton Jennings who has performed well in Asia in the past.

(Reuters)