Rabada, who is expected to be the lynchpin of South Africa's bowling attack, had missed Delhi Capitals' clash against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday, 1 May, with what was reported to be a back niggle. Delhi had rested him as a "precautionary measure", but have now confirmed that he will head back home to nurse the injury ahead of the World Cup.
Rabada expressed his disappointment over the development, but said a 'collective decision' had been made. "It is indeed very hard for me to leave the Delhi Capitals at this stage of the tournament," he said.
"But with the World Cup just a month away, a collective decision has been made for me in this regard. It's been a tremendous season for me with the Delhi Capitals, both on and off the field, and I truly believe that our team can win the trophy."
As of his exit, Rabada is the leading wicket-taker of the season, with 25 wickets in 12 games at an average of 14.72. He has been especially effective at the death, and earlier in the tournament, pulled off a Super Over win for his side against Kolkata Knight Riders, by nailing his yorkers to deny Andre Russell.
🚨 ANNOUNCEMENT 🚨@KagisoRabada25 to miss the rest of our season after being recalled by Cricket SA for precautionary reasons ahead of the World Cup.#ThankYouKagiso #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/eUARj0i2Mv— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) May 3, 2019
Rabada's injury comes at a time when South Africa are already sweating over the fitness of some of their key pace personnel. Dale Steyn's IPL stint was cut short after just two games, when his right shoulder flared up. Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, the other members of the fast-bowling attack, had earlier been forced to withdraw from the tournament - while Ngidi was recovering from a side strain, Nortje had strained his shoulder. Ngidi, in fact, had faced a long spell on the sidelines even before that because of a troublesome hamstring.
Cricket South Africa had stated that they were closely monitoring Rabada's injury, and will now hope that he can make a full recovery well before 30 May, when South Africa face England in the World Cup opener.