Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu will miss the tour of England after failing to recover from a back injury.
Atapattu has scored more than 5,000 Test runs, with 16 centuries
Mahela Jayawardene has been appointed captain and Kumar Sangakkara deputy for the 10-week, three-Test tour, for which the team departs on Wednesday.
Atapattu, 35, has struggled with a chronic lower back problem that could force him into retirement.
"A scan has revealed that there is no improvement and we have to consider surgery," said physio Tommy Simsek.
"We were hoping that the injury would heal naturally with rest."
Atapattu opted out of Sri Lanka's last tour, to Bangladesh, because of the injury but his attempt to return to action in the recent home series against Pakistan was abandoned after the opening one-day international.
Sri Lanka will undoubtedly miss his experience at the top of their batting order, especially as former captain Sanath Jayasuriya has announced his retirement from Test cricket.
Atapattu scored 185 at Lord's on Sri Lanka's last tour in 2002 and averages 43 in 10 Test appearances against England.
Jehan Mubarak, who has been named as his replacement, has played seven Tests with a top score of 48.
Sri Lanka begin the tour with a three-day game against a British Universities side at Cambridge on 24 April.
The first Test begins at Lord's on 11 May, with the second at Edgbaston a fortnight later, followed by a five-match one-day series.