Injuries take their toll on Proteas

2010-10-13 15:27

Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are unlikely to play in Friday’s first One Day International (ODI) against Zimbabwe, although all three of them are with the squad in Bloemfontein.

Kallis has been carrying a neck injury, while Steyn suffered a concussion and a back injury in last month’s Champion League Trophy.

They have been working with the physiotherapist and hope to make a return for at least one match against Zimbabwe.

Morkel took part in the first Pro20 game against Zimbabwe on Friday and bowled two overs before spraining a ligament in his right ankle in the outfield.

He went through a light bowling session in the nets in Bloemfontein yesterday and today, but is unlikely to risk playing the first of the three ODIs.

The good news for South Africa is that AB de Villiers is back in the side and fully fit after undergoing an ankle operation during the off-season.

“I’m feeling good. It’s great to be back in the side, especially as it’s a World Cup season. A World Cup is something we would love to win and we rate our chances as pretty high,” said De Villiers, who was recently named International Cricket Council ODI Cricketer of the Year.

Albie Morkel, also injured during the Champions League, has made a full recovery and is available for Friday’s game.

Meanwhile, specialist consultants, including Shaun Pollock, Jonty Rhodes and Ray Jennings, have been working with the Proteas this week to prepare them for their busy season.

Immediately after the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, the Proteas head to the United Arab Emirates to play Pakistan in all three formats of the game.

They return to face an intensive home series against India, starting in mid-December, before leaving for the World Cup, hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in February 2011. 

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