London [UK], Dec 16 (ANI): South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander is likely to miss the first Test of their upcoming three-match series against Pakistan after sustaining a hairline fracture on his right thumb.
The blow of South African squad comes after the 33-year-old had recently returned to action after rehabilitation from a recurring ankle injury.
With Philander ruled out of the first Test and another pacer Lungi Ngidi out of action until February due to a knee injury, South Africa is left with just three pace options in the form of Duanne Olivier, Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn.
South Africa coach Ottis Gibson has expressed disappointment over the development saying that he doesn't know what would happen if another injury concern erupted in the team.
"I really don't even want to think about what would happen should there be another injury," ESPNcricinfo quoted Gibson, as saying.
South Africa is slated to play a three-match Test series against Pakistan from December 26 to January 15. (ANI)