• ‘Philander did not carry injury into India match’

    South Africa have denied that Vernon Philander suffered from a hamstring injury going into the World Cup pool match against India last Sunday.

    Philander will miss the Proteas’ next game against the West Indies in Sydney on Friday due to a hamstring injury.

    He injured his hamstring against India on Sunday, which limited his bowling to only four overs before he was taken off the field for treatment.

    ‘Vernon sustained a Grade 1 hamstring strain which was confirmed by the scans done in Sydney on Monday afternoon,’ Proteas team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee, explained.

    ‘The recovery period for a hamstring strain normally takes a week to 10 days which makes him unavailable for the match against the West Indies.’

    Philander complained of tightness in his hamstring in South Africa’s first pool match against Zimbabwe, but Moosajee denied that he wasn’t at full fitness for the India clash.

    ‘Vernon received treatment in the build-up to the India game from physiotherapist Brendan Jackson. He passed all the fitness tests and was symptom free going into the game.

    ‘As is common with fast bowlers and the nature of hamstring injuries, these kind of things can happen at any stage.’

    Moosajee said it is too early to tell if Philander will be available for the match against Ireland in Canberra next week, and that the all-rounder will be given the best opportunity to recover to full fitness.

    ‘The Ireland match, as we speak, is eight days away,’ he said.

    ‘With the recovery period being a week to 10 days, we have to give him every opportunity to make sure that he can be available. At the same time we don’t want to be foolish by taking short-cuts, we will go through the usual treatment protocols and the return-to-play protocols. If he passes all the fitness tests and is symptom free going into the Ireland game he may play but at this stage it is too early to tell.’

    Philander’s unavailability poses an interesting headache for the South African selectors ahead of Friday’s showdown.

    Despite their big loss to India, the Proteas should be favourites on Friday and should view it as a must-win game.

    With Philander injured and Wayne Parnell’s poor performance against India, the selectors could decide to make more than one change to the team to face West Indies.

    A question mark over Philander’s hamstring could follow him throughout the rest of the tournament, and it will probably be wise, after what happened against India, not to pick him for the Ireland game even if he is passed fit.