South Africa paceman Dale Steyn is on course to play in the first Test against England next week after coming through a "thorough fitness test" in Cape Town.
The 32-year-old missed the final three Tests of the Proteas' tour of India in November and December because of a groin injury, with South Africa suffering a first overseas series loss since 2006 in his absence .
However, Steyn, the number one ranked Test bowler by the International Cricket Council, is being slated to return for the first match of the series against Alastair Cook's tourists, which gets under way on Boxing Day in Durban.
South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said: "Dale has put a lot of work into his training and rehab since his return from India so we are very happy to have him back from injury.
"He was put through a thorough fitness test on Thursday by Cape Cobras physiotherapist, Shane Jabaar, which included two bowling spells at match intensity, fielding drills, sprints and agility tests.
"He came through the tests without any discomfort and will be available for selection for the first Test match against England starting in Durban next week."
Steyn has taken 402 wickets in his 81 Test matches at an average of 22.56 and is widely regarded as the finest fast bowler of his generation.