Graeme Smith's return uncertain after surgery

NICK SAID
Last updated 03:45 29/05/2013

Relevant offers

Cricket

Wellington Firebirds sign Michael Bracewell from Otago as family complete full set of first-class teams Corey Anderson, Adam Milne continue flood of New Zealand cricketers into England Twenty20 comp Speed and spin for Black Caps: Adam Milne poised for key role at Champions Trophy Kane Williamson vows Black Caps won't play conservative cricket in Champions Trophy Australian cricketers call in former government minister Greg Combet to guide them in pay dispute See you in two weeks: Bangladesh rock Black Caps but teams will be judged for real in Champions Trophy rematch Black Cap Doug Bracewell sentenced to community work for drink-driving Eoin Morgan century leads England to 72-run win over South Africa Australian captain Steve Smith hopeful of resolution to pay dispute Recap: Black Caps v Bangladesh - ODI tri-series match six

South Africa captain Graeme Smith will be out of action for at least four months, and maybe much longer, following ankle surgery, according to a senior Cricket South Africa official.

Smith had a "highly unusual" operation 10 days ago on his troublesome left ankle, said Shuaib Manjra, head of the organisation's medical committee.

"It is too early to tell with any certainty - he had a highly unusual operation and it is difficult to predict how long it will take for the stress fracture to heal," Manjra told Reuters.

"The best-case scenario is that he returns to playing in around four months, but that could stretch to six months or even longer."

The surgery on the talus bone of his ankle included the insertion of two pins and the injection of additional bone marrow into six holes to help with the healing process.

"He had a similar operation in 2011 and we thought we had solved the problem only for it to return six months later. So we will have to wait and see how it goes this time," Manjra said.

There are concerns about the long-term prognosis for the left-handed opener. The injury flared up again in the home one-day series against Pakistan in March.

"This operation will fix the acute problem, but we must find out what is causing the stress and balance the load as best we can. Graeme is a big chap and his bones take a lot of stress. We will continue to manage his playing and physiotherapy schedule.

"He will also have a special boot custom-made in the adidas laboratory in Germany that we hope will help to take the pressure off the ankle," Manjra said.

India will tour South Africa later this year and although the match schedule has not yet been released, the first of three test matches is likely to start on Boxing Day. There will also be seven ODIs and two T20 matches.

Smith has already been forced out of the ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales next month, as well as South Africa's ODI tour to Sri Lanka in July.

He is also unlikely to be fit for the trip to Abu Dhabi in October and November when South Africa take on Pakistan in test and ODI matches.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should bouncers be banned from cricket?

Yes - they're too dangerous

Neutral - it is what it is

No - it's just bad luck when it goes wrong

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content