Qantas Tour of South Africa

Fresh injury blow strikes Proteas

Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock sidelined by injury and racing to be fit for Australia Tests

Dave Middleton

5 February 2018, 08:55 PM AEST

South Africa have suffered a third serious injury blow just 24 days out from the first Test against Australia with star wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock sidelined.

De Kock has been ruled out of the remainder of the Proteas' ongoing six-match ODI series against India, which the home side trail 2-0, with a left wrist injury.

The 25-year-old will need up to a month to recover, and he will be in a race against time to be fit for the first Test against Australia.

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"Quinton suffered an extreme blow to the left wrist while batting in the second ODI on Sunday and felt severe pain and discomfort," Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said.

"Further investigation revealed severe bony bruising to the area, with associated swelling around the tendon in the wrist.

"This type of injury will require between 2-4 weeks to heal, which subsequently rules him out of the remainder of the ODI and T20 series against India.

"The Cricket South Africa medical team will aim to have him ready for the Test series against Australia starting next month."

Uncapped wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen already in the squad and set to take the gloves for a Proteas outfit that has already seen star batsman AB de Villiers and captain Faf du Plessis ruled out with finger injuries.

De Villiers was ruled out of the first three ODIs against India with a finger complaint and could return for the fourth match on Saturday, but that has yet to be confirmed.

The injury to du Plessis is much more severe, but he too is hopeful of being fit in time to face Australia in Durban on March 1 for the first match in a four Test tour.

Du Plessis fractured his right index finger in the field in the first ODI while diving at full stretch attempting to catch an edge off Virat Kohli's bat.

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In a statement, the Proteas said the injury "will require 3-6 weeks to heal", and that the 33-year-old "will undergo a period of rest and rehabilitation with the aim of being fit" for the start of the Tests against the Aussies.

Also in the injury ward for South Africa is star bowler Dale Steyn, who suffered a heel injury partway through the first Test against India in early January.

His return to action is yet to be determined, but the veteran quick says he has eyes on the clash with the Aussies.

"Yeah, that (playing in the Australia series) is the plan," Steyn said on January 8, when it was announced the speedster's recovery period "could be anything from four to six weeks".

"Next two weeks, nothing on my feet. Stay off my feet. After that, I'll start walking around, and in about four weeks, I'll start running and then look to start practicing again in six weeks.

"That's a long time. I spent a whole year out, so when someone says to me six weeks, it doesn't sound too bad."

Qantas tour of South Africa

Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Jon Holland, Jhye Richardson.

Warm-up match v SA Invitational XI, Sahara Park, Benoni, Feb 22-24

First Test Kingsmead, Durban, March 1-5

Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13

Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26

Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3