Fast bowler Morne Morkel's participation in the remainder of South Africa's two-Test series against India has been put in doubt by an ankle injury sustained during day three of the first match at the Wanderers.

Morkel won't bowl again in Johannesburg after severely hurting his right ankle while fielding on the fine-leg boundary during the final over before the lunch break on Friday.

The lanky right-armer was consequently helped off the field by team-mates Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen, under the watchful eye of bowling coach Allan Donald.

"Morne landed awkwardly on his right ankle while fielding this afternoon. Clinical examination and a subsequent MRI scan confirmed a grade one ankle sprain," said team manager doctor Mohammed Moosajee.

"The recovery period is usually seven to days and he is doubtful for the second Test in Durban"

The 29-year-old Morkel was the pick of the bowlers during the opposition's first innings, snaring telling figures of three for 34 in a total of 280 all out, after which the Proteas were dismissed for 244.

The inexperienced Rory Kleinveldt would likely be drafted into the XI for the second Test, which will get underway at Kingsmead in Durban on 26 December, should Morkel not be fit for selection.

The uncapped Chris Morris and Beuran Hendricks, all-rounder Wayne Parnell, left-armer Lonwabo Tsotsobe or Durban-based Kyle Abbott, meanwhile, are the leading candidates to be called up to the squad as injury cover.