Dale Steyn is set to miss the 2017 Indian Premier League in April-May owing to a shoulder injury that has kept him out of action for over a month, although the South African quick is hopeful of returning in time for the Champions Trophy in England in June.
Steyn suffered a bone fracture during the second day of the first Test against Australia in Perth early November. The 33-year-old subsequently underwent surgery in Cape Town.
“The first two to three months is just the healing phase, so by the end of February I will start to be able to do things like light bowling, start swimming and all that kind of stuff,” Steyn told ESPN Cricinfo.
Steyn ruled himself out of the entire domestic season and the IPL to keep himself fit for the Champions Trophy. South Africa are slated to play three ODIs in England ahead of the Champions Trophy.
“June is realistic for South Africa. I haven't had a long break like this in a good few years and every season I go into it with something wrong, whether it be a little hammie or whatever. It will be nice to go into a season, starting in June, and confidently know that I am really strong and in a good place,” said Steyn, who plays for Sunriser Hyderabad in the IPL.
In the absence of Steyn for the major part of the Test series against Australia, young bowlers stepped up and took responsibility to help the side seal their third straight Test series victory Down Under.
Steyn is confident that the young pace attack would do the same in this month’s home Test series against Sri Lanka.
“We definitely out-bowled Australia and that's why we ended up winning. Our batters all contributed in parts but at the end of the day, I think it was our bowlers that won it,” Steyn said.
“Sri Lanka are a good side but in South Africa – nothing against them – we should win. Two-nil, with one possibly washed out with rain.
“I was sitting at home during the Hobart Test and I knew (Kyle) Abbott was always going to bowl well. He is one of those guys who bowls top of off stump all the time, he's got a skiddy bouncer and that's all you need in Test cricket.
“In Hobart, there was a little bit of assistance, so when you've got a bowler like that with skills like he does, you are going to do well. It's obviously difficult to do it but he does it really well.
“But then KG (Kagiso Rabada), he just ran in and bowled quick all day. That's all you want from him and he strikes every now and again. And then Vernon (Philander) is quality, that's why he got the Man of the Series, he can bat and we all know he can bowl. He hasn't disappointed in four or five years of playing. The way we are playing, with our bowlers doing well, quietly, confidently, we should beat Sri Lanka.”