Mathews has once again been ruled out for two weeks after a recent injury suffered during Sri Lanka’s second T20 international against India on December 22, yet another chapter in a string of leg afflictions.
“Whatever he did initially to cause the injury, he must be repeating himself,” said Prof Siri Kannangara, the official doctor of the Australian football team for nearly three decades, in a telephone interview.
“This is where physios, doctors and coaches should hold hands in combination and see what’s going wrong and what is being done incorrectly. Obviously he is doing something wrong bio-mechanically to pull the hamstring."
“We need to see why he is getting it over and over again and there has to be something wrong," he added. "For instance, in Sachin’s (Tendulkar) case, we knew it was the heavy bat. We need identify what’s triggering it (for Mathews) and then treat it."
Professor Kannangara has also worked with Sri Lanka national cricketers for many years, including Arjuna Ranatunga, Chaminda Vaas and Lasith Malinga.
And he was a member of the medical team for Australia at the Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney Olympic games.
Mathews missed Sri Lanka’s tour of Zimbabwe in October due to multiple leg injuries before a hamstring tear sustained in January.
He only returned to action during the Champions Trophy in June.
He was part of the national team in the home series against Zimbabwe and India but missed the entire Pakistan series due to a calf injury.
"It may be that he is putting a lot of weight on training or he is not doing enough on fitness,” Prof Kannangara said. “These people are prone to injury. I can rest assured that Nirmalan Thanabalasingham (physio) will do his utmost, with all the coaching he has had, to try and minimise these problems to a great extent. Nirmalan knowns the ABC of fitness."
A hamstring injury usually takes four to six weeks to fully recover, the specialist said.
In June, Sri Lanka’s Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera criticised national cricketers as being "too fat".
He said nobody chosen to play a series against Zimbabwe had passed international fitness standards. It’s now compulsory for players to pass fitness for national selections.
The Sri Lanka team has lost 40 out 57 matches played across all formats this year.
They have won only 14 matches.