England paceman James Anderson is a doubt ahead of the first Test against the Proteas on Boxing Day.
England’s leading wicket-taker was sent for scans on Tuesday after suffering tightness in his right calf muscle, and a decision on his involvement will only be made on Thursday.
The 33-year-old bowled just five overs in England’s match against a South Africa Invitational XI last week, and was left out of the final warm-up rubber against South Africa A.
‘It’s a concern,’ said coach Trevor Bayliss ahead of the four-match series.
‘He hasn’t been able to bowl a lot of overs on this tour. He has bowled overs, though, so whatever it is, it’s not a terribly bad one.’
If Anderson is ruled out, it is likely that England will turn to Chris Woakes, with Chris Jordan and Mark Footitt waiting in the wings, too. It will mean that Steven Finn will almost definitely join Stuart Broad in the attack, provided he is fit.