Fitness of Steyn cause for concern

2013-06-05 00:00

CARDIFF — Dale Steyn has been diagnosed with a mild left side strain, after complaining of tightness during the Proteas’ warm-up match against Pakistan at The Oval on Monday.

Steyn left the field to receive treatment after bowling five overs, and a subsequent MRI scan confirmed the injury.

“Dale complained of some discomfort during the warm-up match against Pakistan on Monday and because of the sensitive nature of the affected area, he was subsequently taken for an MRI scan, which revealed mild swelling in a left intercostal muscle, in the region of the 11th and 12th rib,” explained Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee.

“At this stage we are unable to determine whether he will be available for the first match against India in Cardiff; however, we will be assessing and treating intensively on a daily basis.

“Robin Peterson suffered a hit to his left foot while batting yesterday. He experienced some swelling and was advised not to bowl during the match as a precaution, he has, however, responded well to treatment overnight.”

Quinton de Kock has joined the squad as cover for wicket-keeper AB de Villiers. De Kock is not an official member of SA’s ICC Champions Trophy squad, but will travel with the squad for the tournament.

The Proteas are confident they have received sufficient preparation from their two warm-up fixtures.

“It’s never nice to lose like we did against Pakistan,” De Villiers said.

“And in saying that, you have to take these warm-up games with the right mindset, it’s not really about the result, but what you take out from it.

“I was obviously happy with the match in Holland, but the match competitiveness was probably not where we wanted it to be [against Pakistan].

“We were found short when it came to that.

“I’m comfortable with where the boys are at right now, the batters have been playing really well. I’ve watched the guys in the nets and once we get going in the tournament each player will stand out when the time is right. From a bowling [point of view] I’m really happy,” he added.

“It’s good that the attack got some overs under the belt, each guy had a nice session and overall I’m very happy with what we took out from the game.”

Ryan McLaren said yesterday that he hopes to use the tournament to cement his position as the all-rounder in the Proteas team.

McLaren top-scored with 55 against Pakistan, and gained valuable time at the crease ahead of the tournament opener.

“It was great to get out in the middle and to have some good match intensity,” he said of his 72-ball 55.

“Even though I was at the IPL, I didn’t have a lot of match time so it was good to spend some time at the crease.

“Although it was a warm-up game there is nothing that compares to that match intensity. I will definitely take some confidence from the knock going into that first game on Thursday.”

Although the absence of Jacques Kallis is undoubtedly being felt, it becomes an opportunity for McLaren to successfully occupy the role within the team.

He proved his strengths with the ball during the home series against Pakistan.

“He [Kallis] is one of the best cricketers South Africa has produced and to replace a player like that will be difficult,” he said.

The Proteas travelled to Cardiff yesterday.

Play starts at 11.30 am (SA time) tomorrow.

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