Faf du Plessis may sit out South Africa's limited-overs fixtures against Zimbabwe due to the shoulder injury that cut short his tour of Sri Lanka.
The Proteas captain damaged his right shoulder attempting to take a catch during the third one-dayer of the series in Pallekele last Sunday. The batsman will be absent for the final two games – as well as the one-off Twenty20 fixture - against Sri Lanka but has revealed he may not return in time to face Zimbabwe on home soil.
South Africa hosts its neighbours for a trio of one-day internationals - the first of which takes place in Kimberley on September 30 – and also a three-match Twenty20 series, but Du Plessis is determined to make sure he is fully fit for the tour of Australia that follows later in the year.
He said: "It's important to get the shoulder as strong as possible. Playing against Zimbabwe would be nice but an extra few weeks [of recovery] would be good. I was under pressure before the India series but I managed to get through it. No disrespect to Zimbabwe but there's a lot cricket still to be played. The long-term goal is the most important thing."
Quinton de Kock took over as skipper in the absence of Du Plessis, who arrived back in South Africa on Friday.
- Bahrain Grand Prix: F1 champion Verstappen of Red Bull on pole for season-opener
- Ranji Trophy semifinal: Chandrakant Pandit eyes victory against former side as Vidarbha, Madhya Pradesh face off
- German Open 2024: Jolly-Gayatri bow out of quarterfinals, lose to Chinese pair of Jing-Min
- Mohun Bagan vs Jamshedpur FC highlights, MBSG 3-0 JFC, ISL 2023-24: Sadiku, Cummings, Petratos goals guide Mariners to comfortable win
- ISL 2023-24: Mohun Bagan Super Giant cruises to win against Jamshedpur FC