Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Morkel has been a crucial part of the South African pace attack
South Africa’s Champions Trophy campaign suffered another serious blow after lanky pace bowler Morne Morkel was ruled out for the rest of the tournament with a left quad injury.
Morkel, 28, sustained the injury midway through his bowling spell in South Africa’s 26-run loss to India at Cardiff.
Morkel pulled up in clear discomfort and left the field after bowling 6.5 overs for 27 runs before returning to help out his country with the bat, making eight runs off 11 deliveries before being cleaned up by Indian seamer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the national selectors have sent in pace bowler Chris Morris as a replacement after receiving approval from tournament officials.
Morkel underwent an MRI at the end of the day, which revealed a Grade 1 injury on his left quad and his recovery period has been estimated at three weeks.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers admitted he was “shocked” at having lost his spearhead bowler and added that it was a “massive blow” for the side after Dale Steyn was ruled out of the match with a side strain.
Speaking about Morkel’s injury, South Africa team manager Mohammaed Moosajee said: “Morne had an MRI scan done on him last night and it confirmed a grade-one injury to his left quadriceps muscle. His recovery time will take almost three weeks because the scan also detected a tear to the connecting tissue that surrounds the muscle which is called a myofascial tear, so that rules him out of the tournament.”
The 6ft 5in giant has been an integral part of the Proteas’ pace attack in all three formats over the past year and he is renowned for his lethal pace and bouncers after breaking New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor’s forearm in March last year.
Steyn’s fitness will also be assessed over the next few days.
“Dale as we know is a work in progress, the challenge for us is that we can only get him bowling once he is completely symptom-free,” Moosajee said. “If you allow fast bowlers to bowl too early you can aggravate the injury and go back to square one.
“Brandon Jackson, our physiotherapist, is working hard on him and we are taking it day by day, we will get a better indication of where he is at tomorrow at our net session in Birmingham.”