October 5, 2002

Ngam's injury woes continue

South Africa and Eastern Province fast bowler Mfuneko Ngam has been examined by a foot and ankle orthopaedic specialist, who has diagnosed a complete fracture of the second metatarsal bone in Ngam's right foot.

The fracture is displaced and surgery has been recommended, with an intensive programme of physiotherapy and biokinetic strengthening exercises following that.

Ngam felt discomfort while bowling on the second day of the SuperSport Series match against Northerns in Port Elizabeth last weekend. On the third day he had to limit his bowling and on the last day of the match he bowled only five overs off a shortened run-up.

A report from the orthopaedic specialist was sent to the UCBSA today. It notes that a stress fracture of the third metatarsal bone of Ngam's right foot in May 2000 had healed completely following conservative treatment.

The report recommends that Ngam's lower leg should be immobilized in a cast for six weeks following the surgery and that he should not start bowling again until he is fully fit. According to the doctor, Ngam has a hyperelastic syndrome and these kind of ligaments do not support the bones of the foot and ankle well. Thus, sport specific conditioning should not start before three months after the operation. A date for the operation has not yet been set. Ngam will be monitored closely by the national team's medical staff during his rehabilitation.

The National Selectors have not yet named a replacement for Ngam in the South African squad to play Bangladesh in Benoni in the Second Standard Bank One-Day International on Sunday.