Fitness doubts over de Kock for 3rd test, IPL

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) " South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock is in doubt for the third test against New Zealand and may miss the entire Indian Premier League because of a finger injury.

Uncapped keeper Heinrich Klaasen is on standby to replace de Kock if he fails a fitness test on Friday, a day ahead of the test at Hamilton's Seddon Park.

De Kock had an X-ray in Hamilton on Wednesday which showed his finger was not broken but that he suffered ligament damage when the injury occurred during the second test in Wellington. South Africa won that match by eight wickets to lead the three-match series 1-0.

Proteas manager and team doctor Mohammed Moosajee said "we'll make a late call whether, with the protective strapping the physio is trying to arrange, he can bat."

But Moosajee said de Kock might need four to six weeks to recover from the injury and it was unlikely he would be able to take up his contract with the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

"There is every likelihood he will pull out," Moosajee said. "Every time he catches the ball, stress goes on that area. He is going to need a period of recovery."

Moosajee said de Kock might also be in doubt for the Champions Trophy which starts in England in June.

Meanwhile, New Zealand swing bowler Tim Southee has been ruled out of the third test with a hamstring injury.

Southee also suffered the injury during the Wellington test. Scans revealed a grade one tear to his left hamstring.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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