Cape Town – A critical decision on whether Proteas captain
Graeme Smith will be able to tour the United Arab Emirates in October for a
two-Test series against Pakistan will probably be made in the middle of next
This was revealed on Wednesday to Sport24 by Dr Mohammed
Moosajee, the national team’s manager.
“As things stand, Graeme is very much in contention,” Dr
Moosajee said. “His rehabilitation is on track and he is running and doing
fitness drills diligently.
“He has been thoroughly assessed all the way along the road
since (his ankle surgery) and all involved in the process are on the same
The big left-handed batsman, 32, had the operation to the
talus bone of his traditionally troublesome left ankle in mid-May, after
cutting short his intended first season as Surrey skipper in England.
Generally the healing period is considered to be between
four and six months and by the time the Proteas start the first Test at Abu
Dhabi on October 14, Smith will have had around five months since going under
Assuming he does get the all-clear in fitness terms, Smith’s
next challenge will be to ensure he is suitably match-sharp ... a tricky task
as he has not played a competitive match since May 6, when he scored 74 in
Surrey’s victory over Hampshire at The Oval in the county 40-overs competition.
Dr Moosajee confirmed that the Proteas would play a
three-day warm-up game in the UAE ahead of the series, possibly the player’s
only chance to get into suitable nick.
Being Cape Town-based, opportunities for “Biff” to get bat
on ball outdoors have been impossible given the late winter conditions (particularly
inclement ones recently, at that).
But Dr Moosajee said he was experienced enough to “know how
to prepare” despite long-time absence from the crease.
Smith (@GraemeSmith49) tweeted on August 19: “Been 4 months
since I last ran, felt good to do it again today. Another step closer to
And two days later he added: “Just been on the anti-gravity
treadmill ... pretty insane machine.”
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