CAPE TOWN. — Faf du Plessis, South Africa’s all-format cricket captain, could miss the team’s next assignment -—three ODIs and three T20Is against Zimbabwe with the first ODI starting on September 30—- as he recovers from a second shoulder injury in less than a year.
Du Plessis, who had surgery on his right shoulder in late 2017, has been ruled out of the rest of the ongoing tour in Sri Lanka with a rotator-cuff tear in the same shoulder and will not rush his return ahead of a busy summer and the 2019 World Cup.
“It’s important to get the shoulder as strong as possible,” du Plessis said on his arrival back to Cape Town on Friday.
“Playing against Zimbabwe would be nice but an extra few weeks (of recovery) would be good. I was under pressure before the India series but I managed to get through it. No disrespect to Zimbabwe but there’s a lot of cricket still to be played.
The long-term goal is the most important thing.” When du Plessis made his comeback from the surgery, which took place when he picked up a back injury against Bangladesh in October last year, he was also forced to give Zimbabwe the cold shoulder in the Boxing Day Test. Officially, a viral infection prevented du Plessis from playing in that match but the man himself has admitted his return was earlier than ideal when he did play, a week later, in the New Year’s Test against India. Du Plessis got through all three Tests unscathed but broke a finger in the first ODI, which sidelined him from the remaining white-ball fixtures.