South Africa news August 28, 2013

Parnell laid low by 'irregular heartbeat'

Wayne Parnell will not train for the next week as he awaits results from heart tests. Parnell left the field after bowling just two overs in the second unofficial Test between South Africa A and India A, complaining of shortness of breath, and was admitted to a hospital where he spent two nights. He had a number of examinations done, including being attached to a 24-hour heart monitor, and the doctors have said that they need at least seven days to conclude a diagnosis.

"Wayne had some discomfort in the chest and he was found to have had an irregular heartbeat," Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa's team manager, who is also a medical doctor, told ESPNcricinfo. "At the moment, the tests have found that he has settled down and now it's just about discovering what's wrong."

According to Moosajee, Parnell could be suffering from either pericarditis or myocarditis, both of which are inflammations. The former is less serious as it is a swelling of the area around the heart and will put him out of action for two to three weeks, while the latter affects the actual heart muscle and takes approximately six weeks to recover from. Both are the results of a viral infection, most commonly flu.

Both Moosajee and Brandon Jackson, the team physiotherapist, said that they had seen this illness in sportspersons before. For the moment though, neither have any reason to panic, as Moosajee was confident that Parnell would be fit for the start of South Africa's domestic season in early October, and that it was just a case of "how much recovery time he will need".

The condition will still come as a small setback for Parnell, who was looking to cement his place in the national side, after a number of injuries plagued the early part of his career. A groin strain affected him for much of 2010-11 season, and he has also suffered wrist and other leg injuries since then.

Parnell was included in South Africa's recent tour to Sri Lanka, where he impressed, particularly with his death bowling, in the Twenty20s. He was also a part of the A team which played against India A. After taking three wickets in the first match, he also showed his prowess with the bat by hitting his highest first-class score of 91 in the second.

South Africa A coach Vincent Barnes described Parnell as being "as strong as ever," and seemed to expect big things from him in the coming summer, while national coach Russell Domingo was also pleased with the progress Parnell had made recently.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent