Proteas speedster Dale Steyn has had a stop-start period in his career of late, and it looked set for another pause after he walked off the field clutching his shoulder in the second morning of the third and final Test against Pakistan at The Wanderers on Saturday.
The 35-year-old is in his fifth consecutive Test since emerging from a heel injury, which cut short his participation in the home series against India last year, keeping him out of the infamous visit from Australia.
In what was a frustrating morning for the fielding side, the 35-year-old was visibly the most annoyed of the lot as his once problematic shoulder seemed to flare up after delivering the last ball of his 15th over, with Pakistan at 50/2.
He was hauled off the field as a precautionary measure and, as he disappeared into the player’s tunnel, he just couldn’t hide his frustrations.
However, in the first drinks break of the day, there was an encouraging sign when he rejoined his teammates out in the middle, resuming his fielding duties.
Dale Steyn injury horrors
Proteas fans will be relieved that this was another false alarm as far as Dale Steyn is concerned, as he has had around three horror years in terms of injuries.
The veteran quick suffered a groin injury when South Africa toured the subcontinent in 2015, missing a huge chunk of the four-match Test series against India.
Upon his return – in a home series against England – a shoulder injury in the first Test kept him out of the rest of the season, only returning for the tour to Australia in 2016, where a similar injury kept him out of action for over a year.
It was a case of deja vu in January last
There was more concern again last winter when – during his stint at English county, Hampshire – he pulled up with a groin strain, only for him to laugh it off as he was only ruled out for two weeks.
Dale Steyn has played 91 Test matches since making his debut in Port Elizabeth back in 2004, taking a national record of 431 wickets.