Adelaide - South Africa's stand-in Test captain Faf du Plessis does not expect regular skipper AB de Villiers to be fit in time for the day-night Test against Australia.
De Villiers was ruled out of the tour completely as he underwent elbow surgery, but said later that he wanted to defy the physios and return in time for the match in Adelaide.
The night Test starts on November 24, and Du Plessis, a long-time friend of De Villiers, feels that waiting on him is just wishful thinking on everyone's part.
When asked if De Villiers would make it in time, Du Plessis said: "I don't think so. He's just had an operation. We're not expecting it.
"If it happens, great. If it doesn't, we've got some guys who are capable of putting in good performances.
"He wants to play. It's pink-ball Test cricket, and most of us in the team are not young pups anymore.
"AB's a very competitive guy and he wants to put himself out there against the best in the world. So I'm assuming he'll be in South Africa trying to get ready.
"But after a big operation like that and from the doctors' reports that I've read it doesn't seem likely that he will be fit."
As for facing the pink ball for the first time, Du Plessis says he has no idea what to expect, and hopes the warm up matches provide enough preparation for him and the team.
He added: "I haven't faced or thrown the pink ball around so it's all pretty new to me. It will be nice to see how it plays.
"I know some of the guys have pink balls in their kit, especially the bowlers. We've asked around a little bit and read the stuff other teams have been saying about the pink ball.
"I've got no expectations of it. I'm going in without any experience of it at all."
The first Test in Perth is scheduled for November 3-7, followed by the second Test in Hobart from November 12-16, before the Adelaide one gets under way later that month.