Faf du Plessis is in a race against time to be fit for the Proteas’ three-match ODI series against England next week.
The Proteas departed from OR Tambo international airport on Tuesday to embark on their 12-week long stay in the UK, which will see them play in a three-match ODI series against England as they gear up for the Champions Trophy which starts against Sri Lanka on 3 June. Three T20s and four Tests then follow against the English, with the fourth Test at Old Trafford set to finish on 8 August.
The good news for the side are that there are no major concerns in their squad of 15, but CSA Team Manager Mohammed Moosajee confirmed that Test skipper Du Plessis is carrying a shoulder niggle, and while he’s expected to miss the warm-up games against Sussex and Northamptonshire on 19 and 21 May respectively, they are aiming for him to be good to go come the first ODI on 24 May at Headingley.
‘The only guy that’s carrying a niggle is Faf, he’s struggling with his right shoulder,’ said Moosajee. ‘He’s seen a shoulder specialist in Cape Town this week and the plan is to get him ready for the first ODI. We’re not sure about the warm-ups yet but we’ll have to see when we get there and take it from there.’
Speaking of shoulders, Moosajee confirmed the news that did the rounds this past weekend, as Dale Steyn confirmed that he will be unavailable for the SA A tour of the UK to face the England Lions, and the Test series against England as a result. Moosajee however did say that things are on track and he will aim to return during the Proteas’ home summer, which will see them face Bangladesh, Australia and possibly India.
‘Steyn had a very rare injury but the surgery was a resounding success and the bone has healed,’ confirmed Moosajee. ‘Now it’s about getting that shoulder stabilised and strengthened. We’re not going to set an official timeline for when he will be ready. We are hopeful that he will be ready at some point during the home series.
ALSO READ: Steyn ruled out of England series
Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images