South Africa are likely to go into the first one-day international against Pakistan on Sunday without both their strike bowlers, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.
Coach Gary Kirsten announced on Friday that Steyn will only join up with the squad before the second match in the five-game series in Centurion next Friday. Morkel, meanwhile, is recovering from a hamstring injury.
"Dale bowled close to 180 overs during the Tests against New Zealand and Pakistan and was always going to be rested for the first ODI as part of our rotation policy with the bowlers, whether he was with us or not," said Kirsten.
"At this stage we are waiting on the fitness of Morne Morkel. If he fails to recover in time, we need to look at it positively because it is an opportunity for another player to be tested at this level."
Spin bowler Aaron Phangiso and batsman David Miller were released to play in domestic matches on Friday.
They will rejoin the squad on Saturday but it seems unlikely either will be in the team on Sunday, effectively leaving South Africa with 12 players to choose from, including Morkel.