Zimbabwe in South Africa 2010

Morkel to miss second T20 game

Firdose Moonda

October 9, 2010

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Morne Morkel was too hostile for Afghanistan's batsmen, Afghanistan v South Africa, ICC World Twenty20, Bridgetown, May 5, 2010
Morne Morkel may be out for two weeks because of an ankle sprain © AFP
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Morne Morkel will not take part in South Africa's second Twenty20 international against Zimbabwe in Kimberley on Sunday and could miss the subsequent ODI series. The fast bowler has a "mild to moderate ankle sprain", said team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee.

Morkel sustained the injury while fielding, after bowling just two overs in the first T20 in Bloemfontein on Friday. He was taken off the park and had an ice pack applied to his right ankle immediately. "The medical staff did the right thing by icing him quickly because he has had problems with his ankle in the past," Moosajee said. Morkel previously suffered an ankle injury in December 2008, when he fell on his ankle after bowling the first ball in a tour match against Western Australia.

The injury, according to Moosajee, has been diagnosed Grade One or Two but a more thorough conclusion will be reached on Monday. Morkel will undergo a scan in Bloemfontein, where the squad will be preparing for the ODI series against Zimbabwe, which starts on October 15.

"He is going to stay with the team, although we expect him to be out for 10 to 14 days, which means he may miss the three matches against Zimbabwe," Moosajee said. Should that happen, it would leave South Africa without their two premier strike bowlers, since Dale Steyn is still recovering from concussion and swelling on the lower back, an injury he suffered while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Champions League Twenty20.

Moosajee said the idea is to have both bowlers fit in time to play Pakistan. South Africa travel to the United Arab Emirates to play Pakistan in two T20s, five ODIs and two Tests. The tour starts on October 26.

Lonwabo Tsotsobe is the most likely candidate to replace Morkel in South Africa's starting eleven.

Firdose Moonda is a freelance writer based in Johannesburg

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