Gary Ballance out of third Test with South Africa due to fractured finger

Gary Ballance is out of England's third Test meeting against South Africa with a fractured finger, but he could return for the fourth Test in a fortnight's time.

England will be without Gary Ballance for their third Test meeting with South Africa after it was confirmed that he has suffered a hairline fracture in his left index finger.

The left-hander picked up the injury when hit by Morne Morkel during the second Test, which the Proteas comfortably won to level up the series at one apiece.

Ballance had remained hopeful of playing a part against South Africa at The Oval, but after seeing a specialist in Leeds on Tuesday evening it was revealed that the damage is too serious.

There is still a chance of the 27-year-old returning for the fourth Test at Old Trafford, though, with that clash beginning on August 4.

England will now likely choose between uncapped trio Mark Stoneman, Tom Westley and Dawid Malan to replace Ballance in the squad.

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Tom Westley of Essex Eagles batting during the NatWest T20 Blast match between Surrey and Essex Eagles at The Kia Oval on June 6, 2014
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