Domingo selects ODI captain De Villiers despite recurring back injury
Proteas selectors and coach Russell Domingo have picked ODI captain AB de Villiers despite a recurring back injury that is threatening to rule him out of the three-match tour to the UK next month and the Champions Trophy in June.
De Villiers has missed two matches for his side Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as a result of the injury‚ sparking fears that he may not be fully fit for the Champions Trophy.
Speaking during the Champions Trophy squad announcement in Johannesburg on Wednesday‚ Proteas team manager and doctor Mohammed Moosajee said they are hoping that De Villiers will be fit to lead the side.
“He has been plagued with an acute flare up of his long standing back injury which has seen him miss two out of the five IPL matches that his franchise has played so far‚" he said.
"He missed out on Tuesday because he had some symptoms but we are in constant communication with his franchise and he is being seen by a neurologist and neurosurgeon in India.
"We are being fed back with information and he has had some procedure done two days ago and we are hoping that he will be back to full fitness soon‚” he said.
“It is a procedure where they do what is called a facet joint block. He’s got a nerve route that was irritating him on the lower back and the radiologist and neurologist goes in and inject some medication to settle some of the inflammation and discomfort.”
While De Villiers’ hopes of playing against England and in the Champions Trophy are not yet over‚ premier fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander will definitely not be part of the party due to respective injuries.
“Dale (Steyn) is very much on track to recover from the shoulder injury that he suffered last season and the plan at the moment is to get him to bowling full and flat out in about a month’s time.
"We plan to get him eligible for selection in two of the three four-day games for the South Africa A in the UK.
"As things stand he is very much on track with his rehabilitation and recovery and hopefully he should be able to play in those two games‚” Moosajee said about Steyn.
“Vernon (Philander) was playing county cricket for Sussex and he sustained a grade one strain of the right groin and he is coming home tomorrow (Friday) and the plan is to give him at least three to four weeks period of rest‚ recovery and rehabilitation.
"Prior to our Test series in the UK we will make a call pending passing a fitness test whether he is available to play a couple of games‚” he added about Philander. - TMG Digital/TMG Sport