Philander blow for Proteas


South Africa pace bowler Vernon Philander has been ruled out of the rest of Test series in India due to an ankle injury and also faces a battle to be fit for the first Test against England.

The 30-year-old quick was helped off the field in a training session on Thursday after going down during a game of football just two days before the start of the second Test in Bangalore.

Cricket South Africa confirmed that Kyle Abbott will come into the squad for the remaining three Tests, with Philander returning home after it was revealed he has suffered ligament damage.

Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said: "Vernon rolled his left ankle during practice at the stadium in Bengaluru this morning.

"He was taken to the hospital for an MRI scan which confirmed an ankle ligament tear which will rule him out of the current series against India.

"He will return back to Cape Town this weekend to be assessed by one of Cricket South Africa's specialists. At this moment it is still too early to tell but he will be out for a period of at least six to eight weeks. 

"The first Test match against England is six weeks away so it will be a tight schedule to get him ready and rehabilitated to make that Test match.

"Once he has been assessed back home in Cape Town and a proper programme for physio and rehabilitation has been put into place we will have a clearer understanding."

There was positive news of fellow paceman Morne Morkel and all-rounder JP Duminy, who are fit to return from injury on Saturday when South Africa attempt to respond to their defeat in the series-opener last week.

Dale Steyn is to undergo a fitness test on Friday after sustaining a groin injury during the first Test.