South Africa has suffered a further blow to its VB Series campaign, with star all-rounder Jacques Kallis returning home to receive immediate treatment for his injured elbow.
The news is bad for the Proteas who have already had pacemen Makhaya Ntini and Andre Nel ruled out through injury, and this latest setback just adds more pressure to their already depleted bowling stocks.
South African selector Harroon Lorgat revealed the decision to fly Kallis home for treatment has come to ensure that he will be fully fit to take on Australia when the team tours South Africa in late February.
"In keeping with our player management philosophy, Jacques is going home for treatment so that we can get him fully ready for the return series against Australia in South Africa in February-March," he told Reuters.
Kallis will be replaced in the squad by all-rounder Johan van der Wath who has been performing well in the South African second eleven.
"With great interest we have been watching Johan's performances and good form for South Africa A and for the Eagles in the domestic competitions," Lorgat said.
"We believe that he has much to offer both now and in the future."