Fast bowler Dale Steyn will miss the five-match one-day series against England after his shoulder injury proved to be more serious than first believed.
Steyn was injured in the first innings of the first Test with what was diagnosed as a shoulder spasm. But team manager and doctor Mohammed Moosajee said on Tuesday that new scans had revealed a “bone stress reaction”.
“He is undergoing therapy and oxygen chamber treatment,” said Moosajee, who said Steyn might also miss two Twenty20 internationals at the end of the tour.
He said a realistic target was for Steyn to be fit for three Twenty20 internationals against Australia in March, shortly before the World Twenty20 tournament in India.
Steyn, 32, has only bowled in two of South Africa’s most recent eight Tests, being injured in the first innings on both occasions, but Moosajee said the latest injury should heal completely and he expected the bowler to play a key role for South Africa.
Fellow fast bowler Vernon Philander, who has not played since suffering an ankle injury before the second Test against India last year, was still two to three weeks away from a full recovery, although he had started bowling in the nets. Philander will not play in the one-day series.
A third fast bowler, Kyle Abbott, will miss the first one-day international in Bloemfontein on February 3 after suffering a hamstring strain in the fourth Test which ended on Tuesday.
But Moosajee said he expected Abbott to be available for the rest of the series.