Injured Du Plessis taking no risks ahead of Australia tour

Captain Faf du Plessis is focused on his long-term fitness, meaning he could miss South Africa's home games against Zimbabwe.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis   -  Getty Images

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.