Dale Steyn has confirmed he will not be available for the third Test between South Africa and Australia, which starts at Newlands in Cape Town on 22 March.
Steyn, 34, who made his comeback after a long injury lay-off in the Cape Town Test against India in January, suffered a bruised heel on his return, which put him out of contention for the rest of the series.
He admitted that the recovery was taking longer than expected. “People are saying it is so disappointing that you can’t play the four-day game but what would be worse is playing the game and walking off with another injury,” said Steyn. “I can’t imagine another Test where I need to walk off halfway because my foot is just a little bruised,” he said.
“The problem as a fast bowler is I need to land on that front foot of mine,” he said. “Putting eight or nine times my body weight on that front foot … it can only handle so much.”
Morne Morkel, playing in his final series, is therefore expected to replace the suspended Kagiso Rabada in Newlands, unless the 22-year-old pacer successfully overturns his two-match ban in a hearing on Monday.