Faf du Plessis said Morne Morkel is a contender for South Africa's ICC Champions Trophy squad just a day after the paceman revealed there were concerns that his career could be cut short.
Morkel has been plagued by a back injury and was told he may never be able to play again, but the towering quick is now on the verge of making a domestic comeback.
Proteas Twenty20 and Test captain Du Plessis stated Morkel is in the frame to feature in the Champions Trophy in June if he can prove his fitness.
Speaking after the T20I win over New Zealand on Friday, Du Plessis said: "Someone like Morne Morkel has done really well in one-day cricket, [he] is someone who is on the outside who is very much part of the plans.
"But everything is now up to his back and seeing how he responds to playing cricket, which he hasn't done for a very long time. It's how he comes back from that."
Imran Tahir was named man of the match at Eden Park after taking career-best figures of 5-24 as the Black Caps were skittled out for only 107 to lose the only T20I of the series by 78 runs.
Du Plessis was full of praise for the spinner, who tops the T20 and one-day international rankings.
"He is a big reason why we've had the success we've had over the last 10 months [in limited overs matches]." Du Plessis said.
"He's just become so consistent and that's a massive weapon. Even if teams to get off to a good start you know the chances of him coming on and doing really well are very high.
"He's not bowling bad balls anymore and he puts a lot of pressure on the opposition with his variety and skill."
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