Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi as been ruled out for the entire home series against Pakistan after picking up a knee injury during the one-off T20I against Australia on 17 November.
The 22-year-old has been ruled out for a minimum of 12 weeks after scans revealed ligament damage to his knee after he fell awkwardly while fielding against the Aussies.
The paceman will miss the whole of the Mzansi Super League and also the three Test matches, three T20Is and five ODIs against Pakistan at home that will be played between December and February.
Proteas team manager Mohammed Moosajee said: “Lungi fell awkwardly while fielding during the T20I against Australia last Sunday.
“He underwent investigations and further assessments with knee specialists upon his return to South Africa, which revealed a significant ligament injury to the right knee.
“Due to the significant nature of the injury, he will require a minimum of 12 weeks of rest and rehabilitation to make a successful return to play.”
The news will come as big blow to the Proteas as they prepare for next year’s World Cup in England.
Ngidi will be an integral part of that squad but now he will miss five of the 10 ODIs leading into the global showpiece.