England v SA, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 4th day August 5, 2012

Kallis top of SA injury worries


Jacques Kallis, South Africa's premier allrounder, is the team management's main concern for the remainder of the England tour. Kallis is one of three players currently carrying an injury but his lower back spasms are more serious than Graeme Smith's left-knee problem or Alviro Petersen's right hamstring strain.

Kallis will not bowl or field again in the match but "if he has to bat, we will make sure we get him through that" Mohammad Moosajee, South Africa team manager, said. Kallis was the only member of the squad not to make it to the ground on Sunday but spent the day on the physiotherapist's table after he hurt himself while in the field on day three.

"After 17 years of international cricket and with him being an all-round player, the load that he has to handle, there's no doubt his back will sometimes seize up," Moosajee said. "We will monitor him overnight and then see what further action needs to be taken."

Kallis has a history of back spasms and Moosajee said the medical staff are well aware of what needs to be done to ensure he regains fitness. "In the past, there have been times where he has responded in a day to treatment but sometimes it takes four or five days for him to respond."

This is the second successive tour during which Kallis has been injured. In March, he missed the third Test against New Zealand in Wellington after suffering a stiff neck the night before the match.

His injury this time means replacement player Faf du Plessis will stay with the Test squad as cover and not travel to Ireland to captain the South African A side, as planned. Du Plessis fielded for the whole England innings and will likely feature in the next tour match against Derby. Justin Ontong will lead the A side in Du Plessis' absence.

Having their second team shadow the national side in Ireland is proving beneficial. Moosajee said that if the national selectors feel there is a need to call anyone up from Ireland because of the ongoing injuries they will, although he is hopeful that both Petersen and Smith will not need to be replaced.

Jacques Rudolph opened the batting in Petersen's place but is unlikely to have to do that at Lord's. "Alviro is seven days away from full fitness and he will bat again if he is required to here," Moosajee said.

Smith joined Rudolph at the top of the order and did not show any signs of discomfort, although he will be fully assessed once the match is over. "Graeme is managing with a heavily strapped knee. We assume he has damaged cartilage or meniscus and I don't think it is something major, or he would not have been able to walk," Moosajee said.

The recent spate of injuries brings to six the number of players who have been wounded on the current England tour. Mark Boucher suffered a lacerated eyeball in the first tour match at Taunton which forced him to retire prematurely from international cricket. Marchant de Lange was next on the aeroplane home after he failed to recover from back spasms which ruled him out of action for up to eight weeks. His replacement, Albie Morkel, has an ankle niggle and was not considered for this match, although he remains with the squad.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on August 8, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Meanwhile, getting back on topic - seeing as Kallis both batted & bowled in the 2nd innings, his low grade back injury should be fully sorted out by the time the next Test is played... Still another week+ to go...

  • Dummy4 on August 7, 2012, 22:31 GMT

    I was merely going by what Cricinfo have said, "Hashim Amla is the first South African of Indian descent to reach the national squad - his grandparents migrated from Gujarat". Now I don't know how many generations could have fitted between his grandparents and him, but I doubt it could be four.

  • Paul on August 6, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    KH1902, please tell me the winning score of the test series you claim England acheived last time SA visited, or are you just another product of a failing education system?

  • Kamala on August 6, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    counterstrike1.6: this is a cricket forum - Jacques Kallis is a cricketer, isn't he? Or are you saying he doesn't deserve to be called a cricketer? Sorry, don't understand your comment. He's not above criticism. SA beat England the last time they were in England, with Kallis contributing nothing - that was my point. SA are good enough to defeat England without him. As for the greatest all-rounder ever tag, I'm totally baffled. How can someone be so great and yet his friends in the South African media think he's underappreciated. That's a complete contradiction. He's so great that noone notices. Sobers, on the other hand...everyone seems to notice his greatness, because he actually is.

  • Kumar on August 6, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    Kallis should see Dr Eliyantha white (Miracle ayurvedic Doctor)....Hope Kallis gets this message from other cricketers......Srilanka player, Kumar sangakarra had personally thanked him after taking the runners up trophy of 2011 world cup. ..Wishing Kallis a speedy recovery. cheers, kumar

  • P on August 6, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    People should not discuss country of origin of players from any team because it can be easily turned around into different statement. For example, what does it tell about SA when its players have to leave and join England? SA origin players playing for England left at their own will and England did not make them play of it against their individual wills. If SA did not treat their players well then Steyn might end up playing for England as well. Although I believe that Steyn's best days are behind him.

  • Saul on August 6, 2012, 12:00 GMT

    @ corey- Sure but I'd still love for England to field Strauss, Lumb, Trott, Pieterson, Kieswetter, Prior, Groenewald, Meaker and Dernbagh in the same squad. (sure it's a little part timer and batsmen heavy, but think of the outrage)

  • Satish on August 6, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    @Corey Parr-Thomson : Do agree with Tahir thing. As you say, Amla is not second gen but 4th gen.. Even if you go by your way, Amla is "second generation" means he is born and bought up in SA.. He is same as a Bopara or a Samit Patel..

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    Dare we say the King is getting a little older? Its sad but true, bowling at 140 mph and batting all day is not that easy at his age!!

    Radicle solutions if he should miss next test, is give Albie a run.....the boy is talented and surely Kirsten and teach him to be patient? Look at Chris Gayle and the impact he makes for WI (at least they are "decent" when he is in the team and he is FEARED).

  • Suri on August 6, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    @ Corey Par....Amla like most South African Indians are 4th generation.....we arrived over 150 yrs ago.....we are 100% Saffers, we don't mind lending England some talent.....they need it......most of your good doctors, dentists, and teachers come from here!!!!

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