In a major setback to South Africa, skipper AB de Villiers has been ruled out of the upcoming home and away series against Australia after failing to recover from a persistent elbow injury sustained last month.
The 32-year-old, who also missed the Test series against New Zealand due to the same reason, underwent a fitness test on 27 September morning and failed it, thus ruling him out of the ODI series at home against the Aussies.
Confirming the news, South Africa team manager, Mohammed Moosajee said that De Villiers had failed to recover from his elbow impingement injury and, therefore, he would undergo an elbow operation early next week.
"AB de Villiers is still symptomatic and has not recovered from his elbow impingement injury which makes surgery the only long-term solution. We have tried the conservative management of rest, physio, rehab and cortisone infiltration into the elbow, but that has not yielded the results that we would have liked," Moosajee was quoted as saying by Sport24.
The team manager, however, said that he was hopeful to have the skipper back for the home series against Sri Lanka over the Christmas period.
With de Villiers' exclusion, Faf du Plessis will continue to lead the ODI squad against the Steve Smith-led side.
South Africa are slated to play a five-match ODI series against Australia from September 30 in Centurion before they head home for a three-match Test series, starting on November 3 at WACA Ground.
The South Africa squad is as follows:
Faf du Plessis, Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock , JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn.