Dale Steyn has been ruled out of South Africa’s World Cup opener against England on Thursday.
The 35-year-old pacer injured his shoulder during the recent Indian Premier League and will not be risked at the Oval.
He is also unlikely to feature in their second match against Bangladesh at the same venue on Sunday, with the 5 June game against India being pegged for his return, according to the official Cricket World Cup site.
“He’s not quite ready yet, not far away but not ready,” said head coach Ottis Gibson.
“We think with a six-week tournament there’s no real need to force the issue just now. He won’t be available for the first game. We’ve still got 14 others so we’ll choose from them.”
“We know he is close and is getting closer every day. We will give him as much time as he needs to get ready. I am trying to give a date but we are hoping if not Sunday, then certainly by India [next Wednesday].”
Steyn’s fellow fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was declared fit after a back injury, leaving Gibson with just one seamer spot to fill alongside the 24-year-old and Lungi Ngidi.
Hosts England are top of the one-day international rankings and are favourites to win their first World Cup but South Africa are one of several sides in form.
They won their first warm-up match against Sri Lanka by 87 runs before making a strong start to their second against the West Indies, only for rain to cut the match short.
Steyn has not bowled competitively since pulling out of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s IPL campaign in late April, having played only two games there.
With AFP Inputs