South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the Proteas' Test series against Australia after fracturing his right shoulder in Perth. The 33-year-old star damaged the shoulder during the topsy-turvy opening Test in Western Australia, leaving the field 42 minutes before lunch on the second day.
Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa's manager, confirmed Steyn is set to fly home to consult a specialist about the injury and will only bat in the second innings in Perth if "absolutely necessary". It remains unclear whether Steyn will undergo surgery, but he has been ruled out of the remaining two Tests against Australia.
"Dale pulled up while bowling shortly before lunch complaining of severe pain to his right shoulder," Moosajee said, according to CricInfo. "He was taken to the hospital for preliminary scans, which confirmed a new fracture of the bone in the shoulder joint.
"He will bat if absolutely necessary, but will play no further part in the match and series, and will return to South Africa to see a shoulder specialist who will advise on an appropriate plan of action. An injury of this nature is rare and will in all likelihood require surgery, but that will only be confirmed once we receive an opinion from the specialist."
Steyn – who has taken more than 400 wickets during his 84-match Test career – showed visible pain after delivering the fourth ball of his 14th over in Perth. The fast bowler broke the same shoulder during South Africa's Test series against England last year and there are increasing fears about his fitness troubles.