Ashley Giles says he is in "cheery" mood despite confirmation coming yesterday that he will miss the Test and oneday international series against Sri Lanka starting next month.

The Warwickshire left-arm orthodox spinner was ruled out of the tour of India with a hip problem, having been forced to return home early from the pre-Christmas tour of Pakistan.

The home series against the latter in mid-July is Giles' target after he was diagnosed with a hernia problem.

He is glad to have got to the bottom of his injury riddle, saying: "I got some strange looks in the waiting room, there were other people waiting to see the specialist and I sort of cheered and said 'I've got a hernia, great news' and I think they thought I was a complete nutcase to be honest.

"We were looking at another hip operation which is a lot more major surgery and it's a longer process to get back, about three months, whereas this I'm told is six weeks, and within two weeks I'll be back running, three weeks sprinting, which will be the first for a long time.

"It's a lot more cheery. I feel a lot happier because it has been a difficult time.

"There has been stuff written, that my career is in jeopardy and the future's not bright and so on and so forth, but I've had some bad days but the other day when I saw the specialist and he came up with this it was a good day."

England and Wales Cricket Board chief medical officer Peter Gregory said: "In light of the lack of progress with Ashley's rehabilitation from hip surgery, his surgeon

recently recommended an opinion was sought from a hernia specialist.

"The view of this specialist, who was consulted last week, was that Ashley has developed a defect known as a Gilmore's Groin - which could account for the pain he suffers after he runs.

"Ashley will undergo surgical repair in the near future. It is hoped that this will enable him to return to cricket later this season."

That prognosis is at odds with some expert opinion on recovery time from herniarelated surgery but it is clear Giles' case is far from a simple one.

After months of deliberation on how best to deal with his problems - during which rest and cortisone injections as well as surgery have been prescribed and employed - England appear understandably loathe to take any chances by rushing his return. They nonetheless hope he will be fully recovered to feature in the second half of this summer.

In the meantime, his established role in the squad is likely to be filled by the promising Monty Panesar - who did enough in three Tests to suggest he can become a long-term replacement. England are nonetheless likely to favour Giles - a near ever-present when fit in both forms of the game for five years - because his batting is far superior to Panesar's.

When it comes to one-day cricket, however, Ian Black-well's bowling - if not yet the batting which has been so prolific at county level - has put him in the frame for the World Cup.