Wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers will undergo hand surgery in January, but is expected to be fit ahead of South Africa’s Test series against Australia a month later.
De Villiers was named Player of the Series on the back of the Proteas’ one-nil Test series win over India, after scoring 190 runs in three innings, including a sterling century in Johannesburg, and taking 14 catches.
“AB fractured his left hand during the Indian Premier League in 2011 after which he had a plate inserted to assist with recovery,” said team manager doctor Mohammad Moosajee.
“The plate has started to cause discomfort in his hand and will be surgically removed in the first week of January.
“The recovery period is usually three to four weeks and he should be ready in time for the series against Australia in February.”
The Proteas have the talented Thami Tsolekile on standby, while the young Quinton de Kock could also act as a replacement, if de Villiers does not regain full fitness by February.
The South Africans and Australians will meet for three Tests, the first of which will get underway in Centurion on 12 February. Port Elizabeth and Cape Town will host Tests two and three respectively. Three Twenty20 Internationals will follow.