South Africa captain AB de Villiers has been ruled out of their home one-day and away Test series against Australia because of a persistent elbow injury.
The batsman, 32, will have surgery on the problem next week and is expected to be ruled out for eight to 10 weeks.
Team manager Dr Mohammed Moosaje, who is also a medical doctor, said surgery was the "only long-term solution".
"The target is to hopefully have him back for the Sri Lanka home series over the Christmas period," he said.
"We have tried the conservative management of rest, physio, rehab and cortisone infiltration into the elbow, but that has not yielded the results that we would have liked."
Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis, 32, skippered South Africa in their recent 206-run win over Ireland and will do so in the five-match one-day international series against Australia which begins on Friday, while batsman Rilee Roussouw will take De Villiers' place in the squad.
The sides then meet in three Tests in Australia in November.