Proteas await final round of Covid-19 results, Pretorius ruled out of England series

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Dwaine Pretorius. (Getty Images)
Dwaine Pretorius. (Getty Images)
  • The Proteas face a nervy wait after undergoing a fourth round of coronavirus tests ahead of the England series.
  • CSA medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra says if a number of players test positive, Friday's opening T20 at Newlands will be cancelled.
  • Proteas all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius has released from the squad after sustaining a hamstring injury.

The Proteas are facing a tense few hours as Cricket South Africa (CSA) awaits the results of the fourth round of Covid-19 testing ahead of the England series.

Two players in the 24-man squad have already tested positive, with the most recent positive case coming inside the team bubble.

The unnamed duo were not part of Tuesday's third round of testing and remain in isolation, with CSA saying they were "progressing well and in good health".

The first player, who tested positive before entering the bubble last week, is currently isolating in a hotel room in Cape Town's CBD.

Tuesday's third round of testing came back with no positive Covid-19 results confirmed.

However, it's Thursday's fourth round of testing that could decide the fate of Friday's opening T20 at Newlands.

When asked what will happen if a positive test comes ahead of Friday's game, CSA's Chief Medical Officer Dr Shuaib Manjra revealed that if a number of players - from either side - test positive the game will be probably be cancelled.

Manjra confirmed that the team would be receiving their results later on Thursday, with an update expected to be provided by CSA.

"It's stressful, you're waiting on the results to come back... The eight or 24-hour stress that we go through waiting for whatever happens..." said Manjra.

"There probably won't be a game. If you got lots of positives, you've got quarantined contacts and you can't bring in other players without bridging them, we've got to test them at least twice before we bring them into the space."

Manjra revealed that both teams would go through a fifth round of testing between the T20s and ODIs.

Meanwhile on the injury front, Proteas all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius is out of the England series due to a hamstring injury with a recovery time of "three to four weeks".

Pretorius has been released from the bubble and will re-join the Lions squad where he will continue his recovery.

The Proteas team doctor acknowledged that it was an unusual injury, which the 31-year-old sustained during a team practice session at Newlands.

Manjra revealed that a change in Pretorius' bowling action could've resulted in the all-rounder's injury.

"Dwaine used to bowl with a bent front leg and about 12 weeks ago, he kind of changed his action to try and improve and increase his speed," said Manjra.

"Perhaps the change in bowling action may have had a role to play in Dwaine's injury but hopefully it makes him a fast bowler. This is one of the risks of changing your bowling action because you're using completely different bio-mechanics, different muscle groups and strains."

The CSA team doctor added that they would not call up a replacement player to the now 23-man squad.

Meanwhile, South Africa 'A' coach Malibongwe Maketa has also joined the Proteas camp as "extra cover" to assist the team after one of the coaches picked up a minor injury.

Play is scheduled to start at 18:00 on Friday.

Proteas squad:

Quinton de Kock (capt), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Faf du Plessis, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Glenton Stuurman, Pite van Biljon, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne

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