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Proteas ponder double Morkel poser

NatWest Series

South Africa will make a late decision on the fitness of Morne and Albie Morkel ahead of the second match of the NatWest Series against England.

The brothers missed the 20-run defeat in the opening encounter at Headingley Carnegie with side and shoulder problems respectively.

Coach Mickey Arthus has since bemoaned the absence of two of the Proteas' most important players, but the tourists remain hopeful they will be fit for the day-night encounter at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

Fast bowler Morne bowled half a dozen overs in the nets today, and appears the more likely of the two to feature in 48 hours’ time.

Morne Morkel

Morne Morkel is bidding to shake off a side strain in time for Tuesday's match

"Morne bowled the equivalent of six overs in the nets in two spells of four overs and two overs," said Proteas assistant coach Vincent Barnes.

"He was only operating at about 50% of his capacity, so we will have to step him up quite a bit on Monday if he is to make Tuesday's second match.”

Albie came into the five-match campaign nursing the injury, but has been unable to shake it off – leading South Africa to consider pain-killing injections.

Although he too netted with the remainder of the squad in Nottingham, he has yet to test his injury fully.

“Albie has also made significant progress,” Barnes added. “He took a complete part in the batting and fielding drills but at this stage is only bowling with a tennis ball under the direction of (physio) Shane Jabaar. Again, Monday will be an important session for him."

South Africa will continue to monitor the pair, with a decision on their fitness not expected until after practice tomorrow.

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