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Proteas battle injuries in run-up to tri-series

Published: Friday, August 11, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Colombo:South Africa hope several of their key players recover from injuries before the triangular series with Sri Lanka and India begin next Monday.

The South Africans, keen to make amends after their 2-0 Test series defeat by Sri Lanka, have concerns over the fitness of pace bowler Makhaya Ntini, all rounder Shaun Pollock and captain Mark Boucher.

Pollock is nursing a sore lower back and Boucher has an injured left elbow, but both are expected to play in the opening match against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

A question mark, however, remains over Ntini's participation in the match after he pulled a hamstring during the second Test.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn has been drafted into the squad as cover.

''Makhaya is receiving treatment and his injury is being monitored closely by the physiotherapist, but we are confident that he will pull through by Monday,'' coach Mickey Arthur told reporters.

''He is due for a fitness test over the weekend and it is very unlikely that he will play any part in the team prior to that.'' The injured trio will miss a practice game against a Sri Lanka Academy XI tomorrow.

''As a precautionary measure Mark and Shaun will be rested from tomorrow's practice game. Both should be available for selection on Monday,'' said South Africa's media liaison officer Gordon Templeton.

AB de Villiers will keep wicket in the absence of Boucher.

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