South African captain Graeme Smith has admitted a lack of options is heaping extra pressure on his inexperienced bowling attack.
Already without Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel and Charl Langeveldt for the first two VB matches, it now seems likely Jacques Kallis will miss the remainder of the one-day series.
After his troublesome elbow injury flared up in the team's training session on Tuesday, Kallis had a second scan on Wednesday.
And speaking to reporters after the 94-run defeat to Sri Lanka, Smith admitted that it didn’t look good for Kallis but cautioned that he was awaiting the full medical report before making any decision on calling out possible replacements.
He will be praying the initial prognosis is not as bad as first feared after watching his inexperienced bowling attack be taken apart by Sri Lanka's top order.
Garnett Kruger, starting only his second one-day international, conceded 61 runs including five wides from an eight-over spell, characterised by problems finding the right line and length.
Meanwhile 23-year-old Monde Zondeki went for 49 runs off nine overs in only his 10th one-dayer for the Proteas.
And Andrew Hall received similar treatment finishing with figures of 0-58 off 10.
"When you've got really young guys, you've got to take it day by day," Smith said.
"Today we were put under pressure with just having the five bowlers and a lot of them were inexperienced which does add extra pressure.
"We really lacked a lot of the basics today: too many extras, we didn't hit the right lines and lengths consistently enough and we allowed them to score too freely.
"We really set a bad tone in the first 10 to 12 overs [of the Sri Lankan innings] and we just weren't able to pull it back.
"I think in the end we did well to restrict them to 280."