Boucher eye injury to be assessed
Mark Boucher's injured eye is to be assessed on his return to South Africa
The extent of the long-term damage to Mark Boucher's left eye will be assessed on his return to South Africa, with the wicketkeeper already ruled out of the rest of the tour of England.
The 35-year-old suffered a freak injury on Monday when he was struck by a flying bail while keeping wicket during his country's tour match against Somerset in Taunton. His replacement for the tour will be confirmed on Wednesday, Cricket South Africa said.
He was taken to hospital immediately, where he underwent surgery to repair a laceration to the white of his left eyeball, but concerns clearly remain over Boucher's long-term health.
South Africa team doctor Mohammad Moosajee said: "Mark's surgery, which lasted nearly three hours, showed that he sustained a severe eye injury and although the surgeon was able to repair the eyeball, the sensitive nature of the injury makes it difficult to determine the extent of the long-term damage.
"I spent the night with him in the recovery ward at the hospital and he has been overwhelmed by the messages of support and care he has received from all corners of the world.
"He will take no further part in the series against England and will return back to South Africa as soon as possible."
The incident occurred when a ball from spinner Imran Tahir clean bowled Gemaal Hussain, with Boucher stood up to the stumps and wearing a cap instead of a helmet. He immediately hit the ground and was helped from the pitch with blood apparently coming from his eye.
Boucher may be replaced by the versatile AB de Villiers, who has previously provided cover behind the stumps in both Tests and one-day internationals, although South Africa may wish to send for specialist Thami Tsolekile.
South Africa coach Allan Donald was distraught for his former team-mate, who had big plans for the current tour.
"He wanted to finish here. He's been talking about maybe going, if needed, to Australia but he wanted to go out on a real high in England," Donald told Sky Sports News. "I can't think of a bigger kick in the teeth than that."