As England left the Sri Lankan interior yesterday and pitched up again here in cosmopolitan Colombo their captain Paul Collingwood went to hospital. The good news was that he had not been hurt in some ghastly collision on the way, eminently possible given the alarming nature of the driving on rural roads.
If it was the last thing the tourists needed after taking an astonishing 2-1 lead in the series, the soundings from inside the camp were that the scan he underwent on his bruised right shoulder was precautionary. Scans on sporting injuries are invariably precautionary but that does not mean they invariably fail to reveal damage. Collingwood landed heavily on the shoulder while diving for a return catch in the second match of the series in Dambulla last week.
He appeared not to be inconvenienced by it during the tense third encounter on Sunday – he bowled seven overs – but is clearly still in some pain. The results of the scan will be known today but England are confident he will be fully fit for the fourth and possibly deciding match of the series tomorrow.
Collingwood will be desperate to play, partly because this is a wonderful chance to seal their first one-day series win on the sub-continent for 20 years and would greatly enhance his captaincy. But nor would he want to let a bruised shoulder put him out of action.
England are understandably in good spirits after their tense, low scoring two wicket win on Sunday. But if the seasonal monsoon prevails tomorrow they might not feel too put out.