Abu Dhabi - South Africa captain Graeme Smith faces a race against time to get fit for next month's first Test against India after an x-ray revealed an undisplaced fracture, the team manager said on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old South African captain was unable to bat in South Africa's second innings in the second and final Test against Pakistan on Tuesday after spraining his right thumb and recurrence of his left hand finger injury.
Smith sustained the finger injury when he was hit by Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar during the first of five one-day matches last month which South Africa won 3-2.
Team manager Mohammad Moosajee confirmed: "Smith faces a race against time to get fit for the first Test (starting on December 16) at Centurion."
South Africa host India for three Tests, five one-day internationals and a twenty20 match. The Test series is billed as a contest between the world's top two teams, with India number one in Test rankings and South Africa at two.
Moosajee said Smith has been advised to take a three-week rest.
"His fourth metacarpal in the left hand has an undisplaced fracture and the doctor said it will take two to three weeks rest to heal," said the manager.
South Africa were thwarted by Pakistan in the second Test as the match and the two-match series heads for a draw. They had made 173-4 in their second innings for an overall lead of 323.
Smith batted through pain to score a brilliant hundred in the first Test in Dubai, which ended in draw last week.