South Africa's desperate start to the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 has taken a further turn for the worse after quick bowler Morne Morkel was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a torn thigh muscle.
He suffered the injury during his side's 26-run defeat to India, managing to bowl only 6.5 overs and then having to come in to bat at number 11, by which time the match was all but lost.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) have confirmed that he will be replaced in South Africa's squad by fellow quick bowler Chris Morris.
"Morne had a MRI scan done on him last night and it confirmed a Grade 1 injury to his left qaudricep muscle," team manger Dr Mohammed Moosajee confirmed.
"His recovery time will take almost three weeks because the scan also detected a tear to the connecting tissue that surrounds the muscle which is called a myofascial tear, so that rules him out of the tournament.
With Dale Steyn absent against India with a mild side strain, losing Morkel was a huge blow and his own injury now puts South Africa in the unenviable position of having to weigh up Steyn's long-term fitness against their desire to stay in the competiton, with their next match against Pakistan on Monday (10th June) likely to be their last in the tournament should they lose it.
Morris is expected to join up with the squad tomorrow (8th June) at the latest.
Moosajee added: “Dale as we know is a work in progress, the challenge for us is that we can only get him bowling once he is completely symptom free. If you allow fast bowlers to bowl too early you can aggravate the injury and go back to square one.
"Brandon Jackson, our physiotherapist, is working hard on him and we are taking it day by day, we will get a better indication of where he is at tomorrow at our net session in Birmingham."
© Cricket World 2013
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