Boucher to undergo surgery
South Africa wicketkeeper hit by a bail on day one of tour opener
Last Updated: 09/07/12 10:44pm
Treatment: Mark Boucher was hit in the face on day one at Taunton
South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher is a doubt for the upcoming Test series with England after suffering an "eyeball rupture".
The experienced wicketkeeper was hurt in the afternoon session of the Proteas' opening tour fixture at Taunton when he was struck by a bail.
After treatment on the field for a cut, Boucher, who was standing up to the stumps wearing a cap when leg-spinner Imran Tahir bowled Gemaal Hussain, was helped off and taken to hospital.
The tourists later revealed that he had suffered a cut to the eyeball. The injury will be reassessed after he has undergone an operation to repair the cut.
"From a medical point of view a lot depends on whether there is damage to the retina, which allows us to see and focus. We won't know about that until after the surgery."
Dr Mohammed Moosajee Quotes of the week
At the end of play on day one South Africa Team Manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said: "It is a significant injury. Mark sustained a direct blow to the left eye, which resulted in a laceration to the white part. It is what we call an eyeball rupture.
"The ophthalmic surgeon had a look at him at the Accident and Emergency Unit and decided that he needed to undergo exploratory surgery to identify the extent of the damage.
"He will need a general anaesthetic so there has to be a six-hour gap since he last ate a meal. That means the operation will be performed at around 7pm.
"After the operation we will talk to the surgeon again. With eye injuries one cannot make predictions.
"From a medical point of view a lot depends on whether there is damage to the retina, which allows us to see and focus. We won't know about that until after the surgery.
"The surgeons will be able to give us a better indication of the damage after the operation. Then it will take 48 to 72 hours for the swelling to start going down."
AB de Villiers took over behind the stumps in Boucher's absence, though South Africa could opt to call up specialist replacement Thami Tsolekile.
"The concern at the moment is for Mark Boucher the patient, rather than whether he is going to take part in the rest of the tour," Dr Moosajee added.
"The selectors back home are being kept abreast of what is happening. I don't think he will be ready for the first Test, if the series, but I would like to wait for the information the surgery gives us."
Boucher had hinted he was considering retirement after the series, leading to South Africa bowling coach Alan Donald describing the injury as a "real kick in the teeth" for his old team-mate.
"He wanted to finish here. He's been talking about maybe going, if needed, to Australia but he wanted to go out on a real high in England," he told Sky Sports.
"I can't think of a bigger kick in the teeth than that.
"To happen on the first day is a cruel blow. Let's just hope he is going to be okay and take it from there."