Philander to miss Test

2012-12-22 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Vernon Philander is in doubt for the New Year’s Test against New Zealand after a flare-up of his left hamstring during the Sunfoil Series match between Cobras and Titans at Newlands.

According to the Cricinfo website, Philander bowled five overs and took a wicket before leaving the ground to have scans. Initial estimates were a recovery time of seven to 10 days, but that has been extended to up to two weeks following the results of the scans.

“MRI scans revealed that Vernon suffered a grade one strain to his left hamstring. Injuries of this type usually have a 10- to 14-day recovery period,” said Mohammed Moosajee, the South African team manager, who is also a medical doctor.

“We will assess the injury as the week progresses, and this will help determine whether his availability for the Test series will be affected. At this point, he will not bowl again during the match and will only bat if necessary,” Moosajee said.

The first Test starts in 12 days’ time, on January 2, so it is a tight time scale for Philander.

The second Test follows on January 11, which will give him three weeks to recover.

Should Philander miss the first match, Rory Kleinveldt is likely to play, as he did when Philander’s back seized up and forced him to miss the Adelaide Test against Australia.

The news of Philander’s injury came on the same day that it was confirmed New Zealand’s No. 1 bowler, Tim Southee, was ruled out of the tour with a thumb injury.

New Zealand have yet to name a replacement for the competitive Southee, who is a main strike bowler and a more than useful lower order batsman, capable of adding vital runs when needed. Whoever fills his boots will have a hard act to follow, as Southee demonstrates typical New Zealand grit and determination.

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