Morne Morkel could be out for around six weeks after going down with a side strain. © Getty Images

Morne Morkel could be out for around six weeks after going down with a side strain. © Getty Images

Morne Morkel was likely to be sidelined for up to six weeks because of a side strain, the South Africa team management confirmed on Monday (October 2), the last day of the first Test against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom, which South Africa won by 333 runs.

Morkel, who returned 2 for 51 in Bangladesh’s first innings, left the field after bowling just 5.2 overs on Sunday’s fourth day, during which he sent back Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque for ducks on his way to returns of 2 for 19.

Dr Mohammed Moosajee, the South African team manager, confirmed during the final morning’s proceedings that Morkel would have scans later on Monday but a preliminary assessment had suggested that he would need approximately six weeks of rest.

Morkel, who will turn 33 on October 6, had come back from a debilitating back condition that had kept him out of action for large periods of 2016 and the early part of 2017, and the latest setback would mean more time off the field.

His injury added to South Africa’s woes, with the team already without the fast-bowling services of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Chris Morris for varying lengths of time in a 10-Test home season.