South Africa news May 14, 2017

Steyn out of England Tests; targets home season return


Dale Steyn had injured his shoulder bone during the Perth Test against Australia last November © Getty Images

Dale Steyn will miss South Africa's tour of England, which starts next week and ends in August, as he continues to recover from a shoulder surgery. Steyn, who has been out of action since the Perth Test against Australia last November with a broken bone, was due to play in two four-day games for the South Africa A side in the UK, to put himself in line for Test selection. However, considering he is still undergoing rehabilitation, he has opted to withdraw from those matches.

"My recovery is going well but it is taking a little longer than I expected it to," Steyn said at the CSA Annual Awards Dinner on Saturday. "I am able to do a lot of things, like running, hiking and gym work, but bowling is not one of them, and I won't be ready in time."

When Steyn was initially diagnosed, it was expected he would need at least six months on the sidelines, which could have put him in contention for the UK tour. Instead, he is now targeting the home series against Bangladesh in September-October to make an international comeback, but understands he will need game time before that if he is to make the squad.

"Obviously, one of the reasons for me playing with the A side was so that I could get some match fitness before the Tests. So, before that Bangladesh series, I will need to play a bit," Steyn said.

South Africa A will play in a limited-overs tournament against India A and Australia A late in the winter, which could give Steyn his much-needed game time, but he has also not ruled out the possibility of a short county stint in order to get some overs in. "In a way it could be quite funny - South Africa will be playing a Test series in England and maybe at some ground down the road, Dale Steyn will be playing for another team," he joked.

Steyn could not put a timeline on when he will return to bowling but stated that he was not experiencing any pain in the shoulder when "doing normal things." He is on an extensive rehabilitation program which runs five days a week and includes activities to strengthen the smaller muscles around the shoulder joint. His plan is to gradually work his way up to being able to return to bowling.

"We have to understand that fast bowling is not something normal people do, so it's going to take time. Normal people do things mostly below the shoulder line; it's unusual to have something above the line except for things like bowling and tennis. I just have to be patient," Steyn said.

Despite Steyn's absence, South Africa will still have what he considers a "very strong attack," which will include the fit-again Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier and, possibly, Chris Morris or Wayne Parnell - or both, as they had in New Zealand. Philander is the only other injury concern - he sustained a groin injury while playing for Sussex earlier this month - but South Africa are hopeful he will be able to play a full part in the Test series.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Beertjie on May 18, 2017, 13:28 GMT

    Got to agree with you @Woody. I witnessed Donald's last test and expect to see Steyn's at the end of the Aussie series next year. Time to say good-bye, Dale. Great chance for England to beat the Saffers at home at last, but odds favour a drawn series.

  • zaqueface on May 16, 2017, 9:59 GMT

    Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel need to move on, or be moved on.

  • gibbs.175 on May 16, 2017, 0:46 GMT

    Unfortunately .,, i have to say " DALE's,time has been over " it is not easy to have Styen back ...

  • LeonB60 on May 15, 2017, 23:07 GMT

    @theluckycountry - I really wish Aussies would stop making embarrassing statements like yours! Steyn is truly a member of the elite, top drawer of fast bowlers. Starc has 148 wickets from 36 tests. Steyn had 185, Lillee had 190 and Waqar had 196! He is good, not great. - An aussie.

  • JRP100 on May 15, 2017, 21:34 GMT

    England lucky again! So rarely do we get to see them against a full strength saffa side and when we last did in 2012 they were beaten easily. Funny how their best player in that series, KP, couldn't find his place in the side in coming years, while English fan and media overhyped nobodies like Balance, Vince, Taylor and Hales have all been given opportunities aplenty! Then again I'm sure KP "bringing down the morale of the team" was the real reason for Englands loss in the 2013 Ashes down under and not the fact that the pom batsmen were powerless against Mitch and co eh? No AB means another prey for swing reliant Jimmy too, here comes another English summer of overhyping the average to good, and the good to greats...

  • Bazza_SAF on May 15, 2017, 20:12 GMT

    @cricfan4145307922.... interesting comment about Akram being better as Steyn has more test wickets in 20 less test matches so has amuch better strike rate. ODIs difficult to compare with Akrams sheer number of ODIs prior to 20/20 but even there steyn has 180 wickets in a third of matches Akram played who has 515 wickets.... but again Steyn has a better strike rate.

  • blahblah1234567 on May 15, 2017, 20:01 GMT

    CRICFAN4145307922 ON MAY 15, 2017, 17:48 GMT --- What makes you say that? Check his ODI record its really good. He has one of the best ER in the IPL (overall). He failed once in a semi final and now people have this misconception hes a bad LOI bowler

  • Gowers_Great_Tiger_Moth_Flyby on May 15, 2017, 19:05 GMT

    theluckycountry - Australia can't even beat England in England and your massively over hyped team were pasted by SA in Australia. Thanks for allowing us to ridicule that Oz superiority complex yet again. Lol.

  • liz1558 on May 15, 2017, 18:14 GMT

    Does that make England favourites or simply even things out? It'll be close: 2-1 either way.

  • Mahishmati on May 15, 2017, 17:48 GMT

    maybe he is great test but never has been a good limited overs bowler....he cherishes the red ball...but bowlers like Mcgrath Wasim Waqar were good in both trades

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