Cape Town - The Proteas' selectors face a daunting task assembling a bowling attack for the third Test against Australia at Newlands in Cape Town starting on Thursday, March 22.
Following the two-Test suspension handed down to star speedster Kagiso Rabada on Monday, came the news that Dale Steyn won't be fit to step into the void left by the 22-year-old sensation.
Initial reports were that Steyn, three wickets away from becoming South Africa's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, would be over his injury ailments and ready to be unleashed on their visitors from Down Under.
However, according to the Cricinfo website, Steyn will now only be considered for selection for the fourth Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday, March 30 as he continues to recover from a heel injury.
Steyn was due to play for the Titans in this week's round of Sunfoil Series matches against the Cape Cobras in Paarl, but he will miss that match.
Steyn, who boasts 419 Test wickets in his 86 Tests to date, will instead look to play in the Titans' following four-day clash against the Knights in Centurion, starting on Thursday, March 22, in an effort to convince the national selectors of his fitness.
It therefore appears a formality that Morne Morkel, playing in his final series before retirement, will play at Newlands in place of Rabada.