NO news could be good news when it comes to what ails fast bowler Wayne Parnell.
Less than a month after his 24th birthday, Parnell is facing a bigger challenge off-field than he has ever faced on-field.
He was admitted to hospital on Sunday due to shortness of breath after bowling just two overs for SA A in their unofficial test against India A in Pretoria.
"We are a bit in the dark as to what the problem is; the doctors could not make a real diagnosis," SA team physiotherapist Brandon Jackson said yesterday after the player had been discharged.
Parnell is now hooked up to a portable electrocardiogram monitor in an effort to identify the cause of his condition.
"He is on a 24-hour monitoring cycle, and hopefully the doctors will be able to analyse the data and we will have a better idea," Jackson said.
But a cardiologist, who did not want to be named because he did not treat Parnell and was therefore speculating, said the lack of information could be a good thing. "Inflammation around the heart usually causes pain, but if he struggled to breathe he could have an accumulation of fluid between the heart and its lining," he said.
"That's known as a pericardial effusion, and in a young, fit guy its cause is most likely to be viral. Given rest, it will get better on its own. So it would be a bit of a worry if they could see something else in the test results, because that would require further action."
Jackson agreed, saying: "If it is inflammatory cardiomyopathy [heart inflammation], it could settle down by itself."
It is a setback just when Parnell seemed to be on the up after a period of volatile form. A wrist injury ruled him out of SA's squad for the T20 series against New Zealand in December. However, he had a promising domestic T20 campaign for the Warriors. But it was back to earth with a bump after that, with Parnell playing in just four out of 16 games and lugging an economy rate of 9.23 for the Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League.
But, in the first match of the unofficial test series against India A in Rustenburg, he took 3/93 at under three runs to the over. In the Pretoria match, which SA A won by 121 runs yesterday, Parnell scored a career-best 91 in a stand of 186 with Simon Harmer.