Shoulder strain provides pain for Steyn


South Africa suffered a potentially major blow on Monday as Dale Steyn was forced to leave the field with a shoulder strain during the first Test with England.

Steyn missed the bulk of the Proteas' 3-0 series defeat in India due to a groin problem, but appeared back to something like his best as he claimed three wickets on day one of the Boxing Day Test in Durban.

However, the world's number-one ranked Test bowler was less threatening when England resumed their first innings on Sunday and gave his side cause for concern when the tourists batted for a second time.

Steyn winced and held his right shoulder after delivering the second ball of his fourth over and quickly left the field, with Kyle Abbott taking over.

A subsequent tweet from Cricket South Africa read: "Dale Steyn update: He has a right shoulder strain. He will go back onto the field and will be taken for a scan later."

The absence of Steyn, even if only temporary, provided a major headache for a South Africa side already light on bowling options and 89 behind on first innings.

In addition, doubts will be raised over Steyn's availability for the second Test, which starts in Cape Town on January 2, just two days after the ongoing match is scheduled to finish.