South Africa pace spearhead Dale Steyn is likely to be sidelined for at least six months after undergoing surgery in the right shoulder after he suffered a fracture during the first Test win over Australia at Perth last week.
Steyn, 33, suffered the potentially career-threatening shoulder fracture while bowling in the Australia first innings at the WACA. The Proteas won the Test by 177 runs to take the lead in the three-match series.
The fast bowler, who flew home, underwent surgery in Cape Town on Thursday. Steyn had suffered a previous injury in the same right shoulder in December last year, and the latest setback is expected to keep him out of action until at least May.
“Dale had successful surgery on Thursday where the fracture in the right shoulder blade was fixated with the placement of a screw. We expect a minimum six-month rehabilitation period before he can start any form of bowling,” Proteas team manager and medical officer, Mohammed Moosajee, was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Moosajee said South Africa were hopeful of Steyn making a full recovery to return to international cricket.
Steyn, who has 417 wickets in 85 Tests, needs five more scalps to overtake retired pacer Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s most successful Test bowler.
Injury-prone Steyn had injured the same shoulder while surfing in December last year.