Bairstow available for South Africa T20 Opener after injury
Jonny Bairstow may miss England’s Twenty20 series against South Africa after sustaining an injury while lifting teammate Sam Curran on his shoulders.
Bairstow left training at Bristol’s Seat Unique Stadium on Tuesday with ice packs and strapping around his left knee, despite his determination to continue playing all three formats at international level despite the demanding grind.
The 32-year-old was heading back to the dressing room with apparent difficulty, but no decision on his participation against the Proteas has been made.
It is still conceivable that he will play, but with back-to-back games on consecutive nights, it would not be surprising to see him sit out the opening if there is any residual soreness.
If that is the case, Phil Salt and Harry Brook will bat in the middle order, having batted against India while Bairstow rested.
While the exact reason of Bairstow’s injury is unknown, a potential clue was revealed in an Instagram video uploaded by teammate Reece Topley. Bairstow was pictured in the gym doing a walking lunge with Curran draped over his back.
Bairstow seemed to be under duress, grimacing as he finished the session. He’ll be hoping the problem is only a minor annoyance after a career-high run in the Test side earlier this summer.
He had four hundreds in his last five innings, supporting England’s spectacular turnaround in red-ball form, and is currently the only fit first-choice player across all three forms following Ben Stokes’ ODI retirement.
The Test team returns to play on August 17 against South Africa at Lord’s, although Bairstow and the rest of his England teammates are also likely to be available for the start of The Hundred, when he represents Welsh Fire.
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