De Lange is hoping to get his international career back on track by December
South Africa pace bowler Marchant de Lange has been ruled out Titans squad for the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) tournament after failing to fully recover from a lower-back stress fracture.
De Lange picked up the injury in June during an unofficial Twenty20 tri-series against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and will only be fit to return by November, which also puts him in doubt for the Australia series that takes place in the same month.
De Lange is currently in his final stages of rehabilitation with Titans physiotherapist Ian Repton.
The pace bowler’s technique will also be examined in order to see if anything can be tweaked to ensure that he does not aggravate the injury in the future.
National bowling coach Allan Donald, high performance manager Vincent Barnes, Titans coach Matthew Maynard and Repton are all keeping a close eye on de Lange to ensure that he returns to international cricket completely fit and healthy.
Speaking exclusively to ESPNcricinfo, Barnes said: “Where we are at the moment is that we have been sent some information from Allan and we are waiting on more footage before we will know if anything needs to be changed with Marchant’s action, it’s a slow process but we want to make sure he is properly ready.”
De Lange was originally included in South Africa’s squad for the recent Test series against England, but was sent home after failing to recover.
Initially, de Lange was said to be out of action for eight weeks, but after returning home, his injury started to become more serious and Repton was called in to examine what the problem was.
“We did another scan when he came home and we found that he had a stress fracture of the lower back so we had to start a new process, he has been through the whole program but we only expect him to be ready to play by the time the domestic one-day competition starts,” Repton said.
With the South Africa squad leaving to Australia for a training camp on October 25, and the first Test scheduled to begin on November 9 at Brisbane, it seems highly likely that de Lange is set to miss the series since he has not played any domestic cricket for months as well.
De Lange announced that he was extremely frustrated to have missed the England series, and is absolutely devastated to likely be missing the Australia series as well since he has many fond memories of playing against both nations.
The South African pace bowler first caught the attention of the national team selectors after taking a five wicket haul against Australia in a warm-up match last October.
His performance in that match earned him a spot on the national team roster for the series against Sri Lanka, and by taking seven wickets in the Boxing Day Test at Durban on his debut, de Lange was officially recognised as the most successful debutant of 2011.
In March, he was included in the Test and Twenty20 squad for the series against New Zealand, and his heroics with the ball in the final over in the third Twenty20 International earned him a contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders for this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), where he played three games.
Even though de Lange had played a lot of cricket over the past year, Repton believes that it was not the main cause of his stress fracture.
“I wouldn’t say he was overbowled or it was caused by his workload, it could be a combination of other factors, perhaps his action and he has also just turned 21, so he was probably finishing his natural development. We will make sure it’s not an issue going forward,” Repton said.