South Africa say skipper Faf du Plessis is aiming to be fit for the start of the upcoming Test series against Australia despite being sidelined for up to six weeks due to a finger injury.
Du Plessis has been ruled out of the ongoing limited overs matches against India after scans revealed a fracture to his right index finger.
In a statement, the Proteas said the injury "will require 3-6 weeks to heal", an untimely blow given the first of four Tests against Australia in March is less than four weeks away.
But they say the 33-year-old "will undergo a period of rest and rehabilitation with the aim of being fit" for the start of the Tests against the Aussies.
With less than a month until the first Test in Durban, starting on March 1, three of South Africa's most senior players - Du Plessis, AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn - are on the injury list but aiming to be fit for the Test matches.
De Villiers has been ruled out of the first three ODIs against India, also due to a finger injury, however he's not considered in any doubt for the Tests against Australia.
Steyn suffered a heel injury partway through the first Test against India in early January and his return to action is yet to be determined, but the veteran quick says he has eyes on the clash with the Aussies.
"Yeah, that (playing in the Australia series) is the plan," he said on January 8, when it was announced the speedster's recovery period "could be anything from four to six weeks".
"Next two weeks, nothing on my feet. Stay off my feet. After that, I'll start walking around, and in about four weeks, I'll start running and then look to start practicing again in six weeks.
"That's a long time. I spent a whole year out, so when someone says to me six weeks, it doesn't sound too bad."
In the short term, the Proteas have called up Farhaan Behardien to replace du Plessis in the ODI squad to face India while uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen has also been named.
The captain for the remainder of the ODI series will be announced on Saturday.
Qantas tour of South Africa
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match v SA Invitational XI, Sahara Park, Benoni, Feb 22-24
First Test Kingsmead, Durban, March 1-5
Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3