Graeme Smith doubtful for Test series against India and Pakistan

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Smith will be working overtime to try and be fit for the series against Pakistan in October

South Africa Test captain Graeme Smith is highly unlikely to be ruled fit in time for the Proteas’ tour of the United Arab Emirates, where they will play Pakistan, in October and for their home series against India in December.

Smith recently underwent surgery on his troublesome ankle and has been ruled out of action for six months.

“It’s too early to tell with any certainty as he had a highly unusual operation and it is difficult to predict how long it will take for the stress fracture to heal,” Shuaib Manjra, head of Cricket South Africa’s medical committee, told The New Age. “The best case scenario is that he returns to playing in around four months, but that could stretch to six months or even longer.”

Smith will definitely miss the Champions Trophy and South Africa’s limited overs tour of Sri Lanka in July as well.

According to doctors, Smith’s surgery included a process where they inserted two pins and injected bone marrow in six holes to speed up the recovery process.

“He had a similar operation in 2012 and we thought we had solved the problem only for it to return six months later, so we will have to wait and see how it goes this time,” Manjra said. “This operation will fix the acute problem but we must find out what is causing the stress and balance the load as best we can. Graeme is a big chap and his bones take a lot of stress.”

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