South African batsman Graeme Smith may miss the fifth and final One-Day International against Pakistan on Sunday (24th March) after his ankle injury flared up during the fourth game in Durban.
Pakistan won the match by three wickets to level the series and Smith's absence in the decider, would be a huge blow for the Proteas, who are already missing Faf du Plessis with a back problem.
He is rated as 'unlikely' to take part in the match by South African team management and the flare-up is a major concern after he underwent surgery on the ankle in April of last year.
"Graeme’s chronic left ankle problem has surfaced again during this ODI Series," team manager Dr. Mohammed Moosahee confirmed.
"We have been trying to manage him but unfortunately the impingement syndrome slowed him down today and he is quite symptomatic.
"As things stand, he is unlikely to play in the last ODI but we will make a final decision tomorrow (Friday). He has had surgery on this ankle a while ago and I think the load and the volume of cricket for the year and particularly during this ODI series, has troubled him."
Smith, who captains the Test team, has played 191 ODIs for his country, scoring 6,930 runs as well as 109 Tests and 33 Twenty20 Internationals.
With a packed schedule ahead of South Africa including the Champions Trophy in June, and a home series against India also on the horizon, Cricket South Africa (CSA) will have to monitor his workload closely or potentially schedule another operation.
In the longer term, his physical ability to continue to play both ODIs and Tests could also come under scrutiny as even his decision to retire from Twenty20 International cricket does not appear to have sufficiently eased the strain on his body.
A decision on whether to add another player to South Africa's squad will be taken tomorrow (22nd March).
© Cricket World 2013
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