Johannesburg - The Proteas were dealt a massive blow on the eve of the Test series against India with fast bowler Anrich Nortje was ruled out of all three Tests with injury.
It is believed the ailment is in Nortje's hip with team management, describing it as "persistent."
Nortje is South Africa's leading wicket taker in Tests this year with 25 wickets in five matches, including two five-fors.
The 28-year-old fast bowler will consult specialists to advise and help him to manage the injury.
No replacement will be brought into the squad.
Nortje's absence leaves the door open for Duanne Olivier to make a return to the starting XI for the first time in two years. Olivier, has been the outstanding bowler in the Four-Day series, picking up 28 wickets for the Imperial Lions at an average of just 11.10.
The first Test starts at SuperSport Park on Boxing Day.