South Africa's Morne Morkel ruled out of Champions Trophy with thigh injury

Last Updated: 07/06/13 4:25pm

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Morne Morkel: Suffered the injury in the opening game of the tournament

Morne Morkel: Suffered the injury in the opening game of the tournament

Sky Bet

South Africa paceman Morne Morkel has been ruled out of the ICC Champions Trophy with a thigh injury.

The bowler strained his left quadricep in the 34th over of Thursday's tournament opener against India, which the Proteas lost by 26 runs.

An MRI scan later confirmed the injury and he is expected to be out for three weeks. Cricket South Africa later confirmed that Chris Morris will join up with the squad in Birmingham on Saturday.

"There is a tear in the layer covering the muscle, which means the recovery time will be longer than we thought," announced team manager Mohammed Moosajee.

The news is another blow to South Africa, who are already without Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, while Dale Steyn missed Thursday's match with a side strain.

Pace spearhead Steyn is struggling to be fit for Monday's clash with Pakistan, and Moosajee admitted he has yet to be given the go-ahead to resume training.

Day-by-day

"Dale is a work in a progress as far as recovery is concerned," Moosajee said. "We can only get him to start bowling once he is symptom-free. The physiotherapist is working hard on him and taking it day by day."

South Africa captain AB de Villiers admits the group game against Pakistan is "do or die", although he insisted the team would remain aggressive.

"We are going there to win and we have to keep the aggressive mind-set that we had in Cardiff," he said. "It is basically a do or die. We'd like to win at least two out of the three games.

"When you win just one out of three, net run-rate come into play. We would not like to have that. It's a short tournament. There is no room for errors. We'll try to repair that in the next game and go for a big one."

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