South Africa in New Zealand, 2003-04 February 6, 2004

Ngam's return put back on hold

Wisden Cricinfo staff



Mfuneko Ngam: another stress fracture
© Getty Images

Mfuneko Ngam will miss South Africa's tour of New Zealand after he suffered another stress fracture - this time to his shin. Robin Peterson, meanwhile, has recovered from an abdominal strain and will make the trip.

Ngam, who has a history of stress fractures, was recalled to the squad after spending most of the past two years off the field with various problems. He suffered a spinal injury a year before his debut in December 2000, and after three impressive Tests a host of injuries have plighted his career. He had a stress fracture of the right femur, followed by surgery to his right shoulder to sort out ligament problems, a stress fracture of the right tibia and another of the right foot.

Now, just when he thought the worst was behind him, yet another injury has put back his return even further. The South African board has announced that no replacement would be sent to New Zealand.

Peterson has recovered sufficiently from a strain he picked up during the final one-dayer against West Indies last week. He could only bowl three overs in the game, raising fears that he might miss the New Zealand tour. However, Shane Jabaar, the team physio, confirmed that Peterson had suffered a strain and not a tear, and would be able to play again in five to seven days.

South Africa play New Zealand in six one-dayers and three Tests, starting on February 13.

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