Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the Australian Test series after breaking his shoulder while bowling.
It is a repeat of the injury which ruled him out of the England series at the beginning of the year and it will raise doubts about whether this could be a career-ending injury.
He bowled six overs for 34 runs on Thursday evening, and managed just 6.4 in two spells before he pulled up, sinking to his haunches while clutching his shoulder.
He was taken to the hospital where scans revealed the fracture. South Africa’s manager Mohammed Moosajee said he will have to return home to consult with a specialist, and might require surgery, but before that he might bat at the WACA if ‘absolutely necessary’.
By his own admission, he tried to come back from a shoulder strain too quickly against England and ended up breaking his shoulder. It took until August before he was fit enough to return to play against New Zealand.
‘Against England, I tried to go from 0 to 100 too quickly and I broke a bone in my shoulder which is very rare. It was not a case of age or ability,’ he said. Two rare injuries raise serious concerns.
‘I just want to play,’ he said at the time. ‘If I am still making batters jump around and the pace is there, I will carry on doing what I am doing.’
Should he require surgery, Moosajee revealed that the recovery time could be six months or even as long as a year, which will shrewd serious doubt over his future as an international bowler.
Photo: Ryan Pierse Cricket Australia/Getty Images