South Africa in England 2012 July 31, 2012

Albie Morkel picks up ankle injury

Albie Morkel, the South Africa all-rounder, will be out of action for up to 10 days due to an ankle and South Africa have called in Faf du Plessis as cover. Morkel will remain with the squad as he awaits results of his scans and the expectation is he will be available for the third Test if required.

Morkel, who was unlikely to come into contention for the Headingley Test, was one of the reserves who impressed in the tour match against Worcestershire last week. He scored a half-century while batsmen in the Test XI, Alviro Petersen, Jacques Rudolph and JP Duminy failed.

Morkel has only played one Test, against Australia in 2009, and was initially called up as a replacement when he took the place of fast bowler Marchant de Lange who had to leave the tour in the first week. De Lange sustained a back injury in last month's unofficial Twenty20 tri-series in June and could not recover in time for the series. Morkel was easily accessible for the visitors as he had been playing in the Friends Life t20 for Somerset

Du Plessis has recently been captaining South Africa A in a fifty-over tri-series in Zimbabwe, which also included Sri Lanka A. His much improved first-class record in the previous season, in which he batted at No.4 or 5 instead of lower down as was the case previously for his franchise Titans, has put him in contention for a Test spot recently. During the 2011-12 season he scored 599 runs from four matches including three hundreds.

He is also due to lead South Africa A in a series against Ireland which starts next Monday. If he is not required for a Test debut at Headingley, which would only come about due to injury, he will leave the squad on Thursday and join up with the A team in Wicklow.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent