Steyn out of rest of 1st test and likely series vs. India
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Dale Steyn won’t be able to bowl for the rest of the first test against India and is probably out for the entire three-match series with a “freakish” foot injury sustained while bowling in his comeback game on Saturday, the South African team manager said.
Steyn, who has been plagued by injuries over the last three years and was playing his first test in more than a year, hurt his left foot when he landed awkwardly in a foothole on one delivery, South Africa manager and team doctor Mohammed Moosajee said.
Initial scans showed tissue damage around the bottom of Steyn’s foot and near the heel, Moosajee said, and Steyn wouldn’t be able to bowl again in the test in Cape Town. A decision on whether he would bat hadn’t yet been made.
Steyn appeared to have made a successful return, taking 2-51 in India’s first innings to improve his career total to 419 wickets in 86 tests. He needs another three wickets to overtake Shaun Pollock and become South Africa’s leading wicket-taker of all time in test cricket.
Styen’s type of injury normally takes 4-6 weeks to heal, Moosajee said, almost certainly ruling Steyn out of the rest of the series against India and putting a question mark over whether he can once again regain full fitness ahead of Australia’s tour in March.
It’s the third time in his last five tests that Steyn has been injured during the game and hasn’t been able to continue bowling. There are fears the 34-year-old speedster’s career might be up just as he approaches Pollock’s record.
Steyn will see an ankle specialist on Sunday, Moosajee said, after which a timeline on his recovery would be clearer.
“Generally you need rest,” Moosajee said, saying there was “significant” bruising and tissue damage on Steyn’s foot.
Steyn left the field just before the tea break and immediately after the delivery that caused the injury. He couldn’t complete his 18th over and was limping slightly as he headed to the dressing rooms at Newlands.
“It’s never nice for Dale because he’s just come back from injury,” said Steyn’s fellow South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada. “Just feeling very sympathetic for him.”
Steyn, who is 10th on the list of all-time wicket-takers in test matches, was playing a test for the first time since breaking down with a right-shoulder injury in Australia in November 2016. Before that, the paceman, regarded as one of the game’s great fast bowlers, endured other problems with his right shoulder and a groin injury. He had only played eight tests in three years before his return this week.
His comeback was closely watched with fears that he hadn’t played enough cricket in the buildup to this season and might struggle for match fitness.
Moosajee said the latest setback had nothing to do with his injury history or workload in the match.