Morne Morkel, who is attempting to make a comeback from a back injury, has revealed he was told he would never be able to play cricket again.
"No one was 100% sure of what was going on with my back and to be honest there was a time when I was in doubt about my future‚" Morkel told Times Live while training with his franchise Titans ahead of their Momentum One-Day Cup match against Dolphins on Friday.
"I was told that I would never be able to play cricket again and it was a mental thing to go to the gym. One doctor actually told me that my days as a player were numbered which was not a nice thing to hear."
Having ignored that prognosis and sought other doctors' advice, Morkel has now recovered fully and hopes to rule himself fit for the Test-match leg of South Africa's tour of New Zealand. Having last played international cricket in June 2016 and any cricket since a tour game in Melbourne November, he will begin his comeback with the Momentum One-Day Cup.
In addition, Morkel is not making himself available for the IPL, in a bid to be at full fitness for South Africa's tour of England later this year.
Meanwhile, Vernon Philander, who has been battling a minor ankle impingement, is also going to be in action during the one-day cup. Philander is available for Cobras and will be closely watched by the national selectors after bowling coach Charl Langeveldt suggested he could be the new-ball bowler South Africa's one-day outfit is looking for.