Seamer Vernon Philander is to miss the remainder of South Africa’s test tour of India and will be replaced by fast bowler Kyle Abbott.
Philander tore ligaments in his left ankle during practice in Bengaluru on Thursday, two days ahead of the second test, and it is an injury that puts a question mark over his participation in the opening test against England that starts on Dec. 26.
“Vernon will return to Cape Town this weekend to be assessed by one of Cricket South Africa’s specialists,” team manager Mohammed Moosajee said in a statement.
“It is still too early to tell but he will be out for a period of at least six to eight weeks. The first test against England is six weeks away so it will be a tight schedule to get him ready and rehabilitated.”
Abbott, who will join the squad on Friday, played the last of his three tests against West Indies in December 2014. He has taken 13 wickets at an average of 19.84.
All-rounder JP Duminy and fast bowler Morne Morkel have recovered from the injuries that kept them out of the first test in India but paceman Dale Steyn needs a fitness check on a groin problem on Friday.
South Africa lost the first game of the four-match series by 108 runs.