Sydney - Australian batsman Ricky Ponting was pulled out of a Sheffield Shield game Friday with a hamstring injury, just days before the in-form veteran is due to line-up against South Africa in the first Test.
The 37-year-old developed "some hamstring soreness during the game", Cricket Australia said of the former national skipper.
"This is a precautionary move to ensure Ricky has the best possible preparation for the first Vodafone Test against South Africa in Brisbane next week," said CA's team performance manager Pat Howard.
"We've opted to withdraw Ricky from the game. If this wasn't a week out from the first Vodafone Test then Ricky would continue with the match, but we don't want to take that risk.
"We expect Ricky to be fit for the first Vodafone Test against South Africa."
Ponting has not played a Test since the West Indies last April but has put himself through a gruelling training regime to be ready for the Proteas.
It appears to have paid off with the Tasmanian scoring 350 runs at an average of 125.00 in his last three first-class games.
The first of three Tests against South Africa gets underway in Brisbane on November 9 before three Tests with Sri Lanka, also at home.