Dale Steyn is expected to make a comeback to competitive cricket, after a year on the sidelines, in the Ram Slam on Wednesday. Steyn has been named in the Titans' 13-man squad set to play the Knights in Kimberley, for their second match of the competition.
The Titans beat the Lions in their opening game on Sunday, where Steyn carried drinks and reunited with his team-mates after seven years at the Cape Town-based Cobras. Steyn, whose career began up-country with the Titans, opted to return to the franchise while still recovering from the broken bone in his shoulder that has seen him spend the last 12 months out of action.
In that time, Steyn has had a pin inserted into his right shoulder and overcome torn bicep and pectoral muscles. When speaking to ESPNcricinfo last month, Steyn explained how he was slowly building up his bowling loads so that he could be at 100% by the time he returns. That time, it seems, is now.
To make space for Steyn in their XI, the Titans will likely have to leave out David Wiese from the side that beat the Lions. That means the Titans could boast at least six current internationals with Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Farhaan Behardien, Aiden Markram, Tabraiz Shamsi and Lungi Ngidi all in the mix and Dean Elgar waiting in the wings. Morne Morkel and Chris Morris, who are recovering from a side strain and a back injury respectively, are not part of the Titans' squad for now but are both expected to make comebacks at some stage of the Ram Slam.
If all goes well with Steyn's participation in the Ram Slam, he is expected to make a return to the national side in whites, where he needs just five wickets to overtake Shaun Pollock as South Africa's highest Test wicket-taker. South Africa play Zimbabwe in the inaugural day-night Test over Boxing Day and then host India for three Tests. New coach Ottis Gibson has already indicated Steyn will walk back into the XI provided the man himself is confident he can get through a full Test.