CANTERBURY, ENGLAND - JULY 12: AB de Villiers of South Africa in action during a South Africa nets session at the St. Lawrence Ground on July 12, 2012 in Canterbury, England. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

Johannesburg – The Titans have confirmed that top-order batsman AB De Villiers will remain part of the side's Twenty20 Champions League squad for the duration of the tournament, despite not being fit for selection.

Titans coach Matthew Maynard said it was still unclear whether De Villiers, the Proteas' one-day and T20 captain, would be fit to play in the latter stages of the tournament, should the Titans progress.

“AB is currently undergoing an extensive back rehabilitation and strengthening program,” Maynard said.

“He is an extremely valuable player and we hope that we could use him during the later stages of the tournament.

“Even if he doesn't play, having AB in the squad will still be a benefit to us, as his experience and knowledge of the game will rub off onto the rest of the team.”

De Villiers is believed to have picked up the back strain on South Africa's tour of England in August and September, and failed to recover ahead of the ICC World T20 tournament in Sri Lanka, but he played on regardless.

The Titans open their Champions League campaign with a match against the Perth Scorchers in Centurion on Saturday. – Sapa