Jonny Bairstow emerges as England injury doubt for T20 vs South Africa

England batter Jonny Bairstow emerged as an injury doubt for the Twenty20 series opener against South Africa, soon after completing an unusual training exercise on Tuesday that saw him carrying teammate Sam Curran on his shoulders.

Bairstow left a training session at Bristol’s Seat Unique Stadium on Tuesday with ice packs and strapping around his left knee.

The 32-year-old Bairstow was walking in discomfort on his way back to the locker room but no decision has been made over his participation against the Proteas in the first T20 on Wednesday. With back-to-back games on successive nights, it would be no surprise to see Bairstow left out of the opener if there was any lingering discomfort.

Should that be the case, Phil Salt and Harry Brook would continue in the middle order having lined up against India while Bairstow was rested.

While the cause of Bairstow’s injury is not certain, there was a potential clue in an Instagram video shared by teammate Reece Topley. The post showed Bairstow with Curran draped over his back as he completed a walking lunge in the gym.

Bairstow was grimacing as he completed the workout.

Bairstow is a key member of the England team and has enjoyed a career-best run in the test team this international summer.

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