Philander to make return in club cricket

An ankle ligament injury he sustained on the India tour kept Vernon Philander out of the game for more than four months © Associated Press

Vernon Philander will make a return to competitive cricket after more than four months on the sidelines when he turns out for Tygerberg Cricket Club this weekend. Philander is the second South African international to use the club system to make a comeback. Last month, Dale Steyn played for Western Province Cricket Club after two months on the bench.

Philander has not played any cricket since tearing ankle ligaments during football warm-ups ahead of South Africa’s second Test against India in Bangalore. He was helped off the field and was initially expected to recover in time for the final two Tests against England in January. However, Philander was ruled out of the series and the ODIs that followed which meant he only made one international appearance in the 2015-16 season.

Updates on Philander’s activity have been scant but two weeks ago, he posted a picture on Instagram of a new pair of running shoes and said he was “heading closer to playing”. The club match will ease him in but Philander will remain out of the international spotlight until at least June, when South Africa play a triangular series in West Indies that also features Australia. Nonetheless, he will still be under pressure to perform. Tygerberg are currently ninth out of ten teams in the Western Province Division A standings and battling to avoid relegation.

The match, which is against University of Cape Town, will take place in Philander’s home-town, Ravensmead.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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