South Africa v England, 3rd Test, Johannesburg January 14, 2016

Knee injury rules de Kock out of third Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

Quinton de Kock suffered a freak knee injury at home on the eve of the third Test © Gallo Images

South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has been ruled out of the third Test against England in Johannesburg after suffering an injury to his right knee on the eve of the match.

Dane Vilas, who was set to play a Sunfoil Series match in Port Elizabeth, was called up as an immediate replacement and reached The Wanderers midway through the first session.

Scans showed only a mild sprain. De Kock will continue to receive treatment over the next few days in the hope that he might be considered for the final Test.

Dr Mohammed Moosajee, the South Africa team manager, said that de Kock sprained his knee at home on the eve of the Test - a mishap that was later discovered to have occured when he was walking his dogs.

"Quinton slipped and sprained his right knee at home late yesterday afternoon," Moosajee said. "Initially he didn't think it was too serious but woke up after midnight in pain and with a swollen knee. He will have investigations done later today to ascertain the extent of the injury."

De Kock, who was recalled earlier this month to the Test squad after nearly six months, scored 5 and took three catches in the New Year's Test against England in Cape Town.

This is the second time in just over a year that de Kock has suffered a freak injury. In December 2014, he rolled his ankle during warm-ups on the third morning of the Centurion Test against West Indies. Then, AB de Villiers took the gloves.

This time, South Africa could not turn to de Villiers, who has just been named Test captain. Instead, they had to get Vilas on the 8:40am flight out of Port Elizabeth to play his first Test at home. Vilas has played five Tests since debuting in Bangladesh in July 2015 and was dropped after the India tour, in which he, like all South Africa's batsmen, failed to score significant runs.

Vilas has enjoyed a return to form since his snub, however. He score a career-best 216 not out for the Cobras against the Lions in a first-class match last week. In the same match, JP Duminy, who was dropped from the Test XI after the Boxing Day match, also notched up his career-best.

Duminy's unbeaten 260 almost earned him his place back in the team, but de Kock's injury denied him and saved Stiaan van Zyl, who might otherwise have made way to allow de Kock to open the batting alongside Dean Elgar. The last-minute injury meant those plans could not materialise, and South Africa had to stick to their usual line-up.

This story was updated at 1810 GMT on January 14, 2016 with news of de Kock's scan results

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Adam on January 16, 2016, 13:09 GMT

    Get well soon Quinton! I hope your injury isn't to long

  • Siddharth on January 15, 2016, 15:29 GMT

    As freak as QdK's injury was, it begs the question - on the eve of a Test match, why are players allowed to stay at home? I thought the team stays together in the hotel starting the eve of the Test match and on match days, even if they are playing at home

  • David on January 15, 2016, 14:11 GMT

    Would South Africa have batted first if not for the freak accident to De Kock? They wasted their opportunity to post a larger total. Batting will become more difficult as the game goes on, any lead by England will be a bonus. This match will have a result one way or the other.

  • Bored on January 15, 2016, 14:06 GMT

    @Ballonbat: its a good point you raise about his back, but do also consider that Dhoni played almost twice as much cricket as he does, captains the world's most followed (albeit unduly pressured) team in the world. But agreed, de Villiers remains the world's no 1 bat though.

  • Martin on January 15, 2016, 13:42 GMT

    Really glad to read that QdK walks his dogs. Nice one, Quinton!

  • Rob on January 15, 2016, 1:28 GMT

    Karma 1 Quotas 0.........

  • Jo on January 14, 2016, 19:34 GMT

    @ADA007: Spot on.... Now-a-days word "injury" or "fitness" mean different for players and common public. Because, players speak english version made for them and people speak the same language made for people. Like Eng v.UK, Eng v.USA, Eng v.ICC, etc.

  • Harjinder on January 14, 2016, 14:49 GMT

    Oh god , it is a very bad news . Let us hope he will be fit for next game . Good luck !

  • Prem on January 14, 2016, 14:13 GMT

    It is lucky for South Africa for both Vilas and van Zyl are far more productive Test cricketers than de Kock and Duminy.

  • Ishant on January 14, 2016, 13:50 GMT

    Why are South Africa so intent on selecting makeshift openers?

  • No featured comments at the moment.