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Dale Steyn ruled out of Test series

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 Justin Chadwick

The Test career of South Africa paceman Dale Steyn could be over after he suffered a recurrence of a rare shoulder injury while bowling against Australia at the WACA Ground on Friday.

Steyn has been ruled out for the remainder of the three-Test series after fracturing a bone in his troublesome right shoulder early on day two of the first Test.

The 33-year-old will return to South Africa after the match is complete, and he's almost certain to require surgery to fix the damaged coracoid process in his right shoulder.

Steyn suffered the same injury last December, with some reports suggesting it occurred in a surfing accident. He was able to return to action earlier this year following a period of rest.

But his latest setback could prove to be career-ending given his age and recent history with the injury, plus the likely need for it to be surgically repaired this time around.

Proteas team doctor Mohammed Moosajee said there had been only one documented case in the medical literature of a professional cricketer suffering a similar injury, which makes Steyn's long-term recovery harder to predict.

Moosajee said the injury is normally caused by a severe trauma accident like a car crash or falling from a great height.

He said Steyn's injury on Friday could have been caused by a tendon applying so much force to the shoulder that it caused a fracture.

Moosajee said Steyn would need to visit specialists before determining the next course of action.

And he said it was too early to predict whether Steyn would push on for a return to the international arena next year.

"Once healing has taken place, only then will we be able to make the call about whether he can come back and play," Moosajee said.

"But knowing the kind of person he is, I'm hopeful he will make every effort to get out on the park.

"He's extremely disappointed at the moment. But he's been through adversity before.

"And knowing Dale, he'll come back much stronger.

"We've got to give him the best opportunity to recover. I'm sure the South Africa team, and the world, want to see Dale back in action."

Despite the first Test being delicately poised, Moosajee said Steyn was "extremely unlikely" to bat in the second innings.

South Africa will resume play on day three at 2-104, an overall lead of 102 after bowling Australia out for 244.

Australia opener David Warner said he was disappointed to see Steyn go down with injury.

"With all the amp and the talk in this series, I know how pumped he would've been," Warner said.

"I know he's had this injury for a while, I just hope he can get back on the park."

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