Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
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Keegan Petersen has been ruled out of South Africa's three-Test tour of Australia because of a hamstring tear.
Petersen sustained the injury at the weekend, during the CSA T20 Challenge final, and will need between six and eight weeks to recover. This is the second tour Petersen will miss since making his international debut in 2021; he contracted Covid-19 last year and was left out of the touring party to New Zealand.
CSA is also waiting on a medical update on Keshav Maharaj, who suffered a groin injury at the men's T20 World Cup 2022. Maharaj was unable to run while batting against Netherlands in South Africa's last match, and will be assessed this week to determine his availability. Selection convener Victor Mpitsang confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the squad for the Australia series, which starts on December 17, will be announced next week.
In Petersen's place, South Africa have some experienced options to choose from. Rassie van der Dussen, who broke his finger against England in August and missed the World Cup, has recovered and will play red-ball cricket in the lead up to the Tests, while Temba Bavuma, who missed the England series with an elbow injury, is also fit. Ryan Rickelton and Khaya Zondo, who played in England, are likely to be part of the squad but Aiden Markram, who was dropped in England, could miss out.
South Africa will travel with a regular-sized squad of 15 or 16, rather than the enlarged groups they deployed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Given conditions in Australia, they are unlikely to take a clutch of spinners but concerns over Maharaj could see Simon Harmer included. The fast-bowling pack is likely to be made up of familiar faces: Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje and Marco Jansen.
South Africa do not play any cricket from early January to late February, to accommodate for the new T20 franchise league, SA20, which means Petersen is likely to only become available for the national side for their two-Test series against West Indies in late February 2023.