Quinton de Kock has suffered a low-grade hamstring strain in his right leg. He was taken for scans on Wednesday morning to determine the severity of the damage he sustained while batting on the first evening of the Boxing Day Test. While the injury will keep him out of the rest of the Test, the team management is confident he will be ready for the first Test against India, which begins on January 5.*
De Kock was unable to keep wicket when South Africa took to the field 40 minutes before the scheduled close of play on day one. He tweaked the muscle in the 73rd over, off the 26th ball he faced, just as he was starting to find his touch. He scored nine runs off the first 23 balls he faced and six off the next three, including running for two in an act that caused the injury. Vernon Philander was with de Kock and was pushing for a third run, but de Kock sent him back and immediately called for assistance. De Kock resumed batting and continued until he was dismissed five overs later, but was ginger at the crease and in walking off the field.
South Africa declared shortly after and AB de Villiers, on Test comeback, was forced to stand-in with the gloves for de Kock. De Villiers even had to use de Kock's keeping pads and gloves because he did not have his own on hand, in addition to accepting the responsibility of stand-in captaincy because Faf du Plessis was ruled out with illness.
If the injury proves to be worse than expected, South Africa could have a major problem on their hands ahead of the India series. They did not travel with a reserve wicketkeeper to England because the then-opening batsman Heino Kuhn was also a gloveman, but used Titans' gloveman Heinrich Klaasen as back-up in New Zealand. Rudi Second, from Knights, may also come into contention if South Africa need a longer-term replacement for de Kock.
*11.40GMT, December 27: The article was updated once the results of the scans came in.