SA hopeful to play 'fit-again' AB de Villiers in fourth ODI

The star South Africa batsman may have upset a few CSA officials with his golf outing, despite being injured, earlier this week; but the CSA medical committee head says it’s also a positive sign for the Proteas.

AB de Villiers was ruled out of the first three of six-match ODI series against India due to a finger injury.   -  Getty Images

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers — ruled out of the opening three of six ODI games against India due to a finger injury — was spotted playing golf at the Pretoria Country Club earlier this week.

AB’s golf outing — while nursing an injury during a high profile series — may not have gone well with Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials. “Once you have got an injury and you are out of the squad, you will be on your own with your franchise. You will be free to pursue any other activity you would like to, but obviously, we would appreciate not engaging in any activity as it is risky,” Dr. Shuaib Manjra, the head of the CSA medical committee told Sportstar on Sunday.

Read: Markram to lead South Africa in absence of du Plessis

At the time of AB’s injury, the CSA stated that he would need two weeks to recover fully. But the medical team is trying to restore the 'Superman' for the fourth ODI — also called the ‘pink ODI’ as the host will don the ‘breast cancer awareness’ jersey — on February 10, Saturday. “We expect him to return in probably two weeks time, but we are also going to take it as it comes. A decision will be made closer to the fourth ODI. He clearly won’t be ready for the ODI in Cape Town on Wednesday, but we will try to get him ready for the pink ODI,” he added.

Dr. Manjra also expressed silent support for South Africa's star batsman. “Golf is very different to cricket and his injury is healing. If he could play 18 rounds of golf, without complaining of pain, it’s a positive sign for us,” he chuckled.

The South African cricket team is having an injury-marred series. After the first ODI, skipper Faf du Plessis also injured his finger and has been completely ruled out.

Dale Steyn, who damaged a tissue in the first Test last month, is still under observation. “We are monitoring him on a weekly basis and he should be fit for the series against Australia (starting March 1). He is rehabilitating extremely well,” revealed Dr. Manjra.

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