Injured Boucher heads home as South Africa face wicketkeeper dilemma

Veteran star required surgery afte suffering laceration of his eyeball during first day of tour match with Somerset.

South Africa's Mark Boucher receives on-field treatment after being struck in the eye against Somerset
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have confirmed Mark Boucher will return home after suffering an eye injury yesterday in freakish circumstances.

The veteran wicketkeeper had to undergo surgery on a "laceration" to the white of the left eyeball last night after being struck by a bail on day one of the Proteas' tour match against Somerset.

"Mark Boucher will be returning home from the tour. Selectors will name a replacement in due course. Thank you all for your positive thoughts," said Cricket South Africa on Twitter.

South Africa chricket chieves now face a decision over whether to use the versatile AB de Villiers behind the stumps or send for specialist replacement Thami Tsolekile.

Boucher, 35, was struck in the left eyeball by a bail on day one of the

match against Somerset after a ball from spinner Imran Tahir clean bowled Gemaal Hussain.

The player immediately hit the ground and was helped from the pitch with blood apparently coming from his eye.

Team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee confirmed a "laceration" to the white of the eye and after a visit to Accident and Emergency in Taunton, Boucher was scheduled for an operation.

"It is a significant injury," said Moosajee.

"Mark sustained a direct blow to the left eye, which resulted in a laceration to the white part. It is what we call an eyeball rupture.

"The ophthalmic surgeon had a look at him at the Accident and Emergency Unit and decided that he needed to undergo exploratory surgery to identify the extent of the damage.

"After the operation we will talk to the surgeon again. With eye injuries one cannot make predictions.

"From a medical point of view a lot depends on whether there is damage to the retina, which allows us to see and focus. We won't know about that until after the surgery.

"The surgeons will be able to give us a better indication of the damage after the operation. Then it will take 48 to 72 hours for the swelling to start going down.''

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