South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the third Test against England in Johannesburg as his shoulder injury has not yet recovered.
Coach Russell Domingo confirmed today that Steyn, who missed the drawn second Test in Cape Town, is not yet ready to return and will now have further scans on the injury.
Kyle Abbott is fit to come back into Domingo’s squad for the match at the Wanderers but Vernon Philander has already been ruled out for the series.
Steyn has not travelled with the squad to Johannesburg, staying instead in Cape Town as team doctors attempt to get to the bottom of a problem which has sidelined him longer than expected.
Domingo said: “Dale – he’s out of the next Test. He has a final test later today but speaking to our physio, he’s definitely out of the next Test.”
The latest setback adds to growing concerns over Steyn’s fitness.
He missed three of the four Tests against India with a groin injury, making this week’s Test his fifth absence out of seven.
At 32, his longevity is open to question but Domingo said: “I don’t think it is the end of Dale Steyn’s career at all.
“All players are going to experience some type of niggles at some stage. He’s just had a few of late. He’s a great athlete. These things happen and I’m sure he’ll get through it.”
Abbott, back from a hamstring injury, will compete with fellow pacemen Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada and Hardus Viljoen for a place in the team at the Wanderers.
The Proteas, under AB de Villiers’ captaincy following Hashim Amla’s resignation, have the option to field four of the five and leave out spinner Dane Piedt at a venue traditionally favouring pace bowlers, though Piedt took 5-153 in the second innings of the first Test and added 3-38 at Newlands.