Fast bowler Dale Steyn has been ruled out of South Africa's four-match Test series in England after being forced to withdraw from his country's A team tour as he has yet to regain full fitness following a fractured shoulder.
South Africa’s opening bowler had been included in the A team squad for the match against England Lions at Canterbury in June to Test his readiness for a much-awaited return to the Test arena but has not sufficiently recovered from the shoulder injury.
Steyn, whose 417 Test wickets is four short of the South African record held by Shaun Pollock, has not played since November when he fractured his shoulder for the second time in 13 months during the first Test against Australia.
“My recovery is going well but it is taking a little longer than I expected it to,” Steyn told reporters.
“I am able to a lot of things – running, hiking, gym work. But bowling is not one of them and I won’t be ready in time.”
Steyn added he will now target a comeback against Bangladesh in October.
South Africa’s attack could also miss Steyn’s new ball partner Vernon Philander, who is recovering from a groin injury.
Steyn took 15 wickets when South Africa won a three Test series 2-0 on their last tour to England five years ago.
The two countries play four Tests this year at Lord’s, Trent Bridge, The Oval and Old Trafford in July and August.