Karachi - Pakistan on Wednesday suffered a crucial blow when experienced opener Taufeeq Umar was ruled out of the tour of South Africa just two days before the first Test starts in Johannesburg.
The 31-year-old suffered a muscle injury in his shin and the team management decided to call for a replacement.
"The team management has informed us that after MRI reports on his injury doctors have advised him four to five weeks rest, so Umar will return and a replacement will be sent," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) spokesperson Nadeem Sarwar told AFP.
Umar has played 43 Tests since making his debut in 2001 and has so far scored 2 943 runs.
He missed Pakistan's four-day side-match in East London and was expected to be fit before the first of three Tests in South Africa.
Umar's injury will allow Nasir Jamshed to make his Test debut after scoring half-centuries in the side-game against South African Invitation XI which ended in a draw on Monday.
The PCB also announced that another experienced opener, Imran Farhat, will fill in for Umar during the Test series.
Pakistan will also play two Twenty20 internationals and five one-day matches on the tour, for which a squad will be announced next month.