Proteas assess walking wounded

Quinton de Kock (Gallo Images)
Quinton de Kock (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - South Africa are dominating on the pitch but are seemingly losing in the treatment room as the first Test against the West Indies in Pretoria proves a busy time for medical staff on both sides.

The tourists are 76/2 in their second innings, still 275 runs away from making the Proteas bat again, and with two days left face a big ask to save the Test.

West Indies have already lost batsman Assad Fudadin for the series after he fractured a finger in the warm-ups ahead of the game.

Fast bowler Kemar Roach, easily the tourists' most potent weapon with the ball, then broke down with an ankle ligament injury that will likely see him play no further part in the test and perhaps even the series.

But it is the South African medical staff who will have a busy evening after they at one stage had just seven of their starting line-up on the field - with even 48-year-old bowling coach Allan Donald suited up and ready to come on if needed some 13 years after he retired.

Batsman Faf du Plessis complained of abdominal pain and a fever on Thursday night, the cause of which has yet to be diagnosed, while wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock is now in doubt for the second test after he rolled his ankle in the warm-ups for the third day's play.

When premier fast bowler Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander both limped off with muscle complaints, the concern in the home dressing room grew.

"Faf went to hospital this morning, we thought perhaps he had an appendicitis, but the scan came back clear. We are treating it as a viral infection and depending on how he responds overnight, we may repeat the scan tomorrow," Proteas team manager Mohammad Moosajee said in a television interview.

"We suspect Quinton has a grade one ankle ligament sprain, but are waiting for feedback from the MRI scans. With physiotherapy, in our experience the recovery time is five to seven days, so we are hopeful he will play in the second Test (starting December 26 in Port Elizabeth).

"Dale had a tightness in his groin and Vernon the same in his hamstring. It was more a precaution to take them off, they had an ice bath and should be fine in the morning."

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