Vernon Philander's role at Somerset under discussion

Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose says he is unsure what role overseas bowler Vernon Philander will play at the club this summer.

Philander, 26, is due to arrive on Tuesday after playing seven of the eight Tests South Africa have participated in this winter.

And Rose admitted: "South Africa may be concerned by the (county) schedule.

"We're liaising with them over what he can do. We're working through that with them at the moment."

Philander is due to play two months of cricket at Taunton, meaning he will not have a break before South Africa's Test series against England starts in July.

And his country are likely to be concerned about the seamer's fitness after his impressive form in recent months, in which he became the joint second fastest bowler to take 50 Test wickets.

Earlier this week, South Africa coach Gary Kirsten told Cricinfo: "I don't think anyone would have thought that he would play seven Tests and get 50 wickets and really play a major part and bowl a lot of overs for us.

"He needs to honour his contract [at Somerset], that's important. But we would like to create a relationship with them and say these are our needs going forward in terms of the Test series.

"What's important for me is that he has a window period, a conditioning period."

Despite Kirsten's reservations, Rose is confident that Philander will play a key part in the opening stages of their Championship campaign: "We have no one-dayers in April, so he'll play four days then have three days recovery and I think that will aid him.

"There's always a bit of doubt with overseas players in terms of being pulled by their associations but we aren't at that stage yet.

"I've got everything crossed. He's due to arrive on the 3 April. He'll have had a week off by then and should be ready to rock."

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