In preparation for South Africa’s World Cup semifinal match against Australia on Thursday, Temba Bavuma exercised at the Eden Gardens on Monday without showing any signs of pain.
Five balls into the South Africa-Afghanistan match on Friday, the captain of the team pulled his right hamstring, severely impairing his movement and raising doubts about whether he would play in the semifinals.
Bavuma “showed improvement overnight” on Saturday, according to team management, and he “did not go for a scan” on Sunday. During the training session on Monday, reporters witnessed Bavuma doing a lap of the field while wearing straps around his right leg. He then ran in short spurts, both forward and backward, at different speeds, between plastic beacons that were positioned on the outfield for approximately fifteen minutes. Physiotherapist Sizwe Hadebe and strength and conditioning specialist Renushan Moodley kept a careful eye on things.
The team’s medical staff was cited by management on Monday night as saying: “Over the past 72 hours, Temba’s right hamstring strain has shown good objective signs of improvement.” Over the next several days, we will keep an eye on his development as we work through the management plan to give him the best opportunity to play on Thursday.” “Not a fitness test – these were part of the rehabilitation strategies of the recovery plan” was how Bavuma’s activities with Moodley and Hadebe were described.
Bavuma placed his hand on his right buttock and gave it a little punch when he rested in between runs. Though his gait was a little stiff, he gave Moodley and Hadebe a high five when their conversation concluded. That was when Bavuma went back into the changing room, only to come out again a few minutes later. Padded up, he was prepared to take guard, which he did initially with a stump before grabbing his bat. He appeared to move freely while in the nets for over an hour.