Potchefstroom - In the wake of Raven Klaasen and Rik de Voest losing their doubles match in the Davis Cup world group playoff tie against Croatia in Potchefstroom on Saturday, it was revealed South African No 1 Kevin Anderson was struggling with an injury.
Croatia's non-playing captain Goran Prpic said he was unaware of the injury to Anderson until the doubles pairings were announced an hour before the match.
"We didn't know he was injured and he's not playing," said Prpic.
"This morning we saw him practising and on his side was Klaasen, so we thought maybe Klaasen was going to play instead of De Voest.
"For us it really was a surprise."
John-Laffnie de Jager, South Africa's team captain said he only learned of Anderson's injury late on Friday.
"He had [hurt] his hip flexors yesterday in the singles," de Jager said.
"After the press conference you know he said it was hurting a little bit.
"We decided to see what it feels like this morning, and it was worse than yesterday, so to give us a shot of him playing tomorrow, we felt it would be the best for him to sit out today."
De Jager said they would have liked Anderson to play in the doubles but could not take the risk.
"We would have loved to put Kevin in to play today, but he wasn't able to play 100 percent today so that's why we went with Raven and Rik.
"Even though that wasn't our number one team, I still felt confident that these two guys could win today."
Klaasen and De Voest were beaten 6-2, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, by the Croatian duo of Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig.
Croatia lead the tie 2-1 after each team won a singles match on Friday.
South Africa need to win both their singles matches on Sunday to progress to the World Group finals and hope Anderson will be fit enough to compete.
"We'll have to see tomorrow," said de Jager.
"He hit some balls today so it's not like he can't walk and knowing Kevin, and how important this is to him, I'm sure he'll go out and give it a go."
The injury to Anderson is the second one to affect the team. Izak van der Merwe was unable to complete his singles match on Friday after battling with an injured wrist.
He retired at the start of the third set against Cilic, after being down 6-0, 6-0.
De Jager expressed his disappointed about the injuries.
"We've been unfortunate in this tie. It's a pity that all this stuff is happening during such a big tie, but it's part of sport," he said.
"Hopefully Kevin is ready to play tomorrow and then he must level it up.
"Then Rik has to go out and hopefully finish it off for us."
Should Anderson recover and win his match against Cilic on the final day, De Voest would relish the chance to win the tie for South Africa.
"If it comes down to that fifth match, I have been there before," said De Voest.
"If it ends up falling that way, I'm definitely going to go out there and give it 100 percent because that's what I do.
"And If I can get it done for us, it's going to be an awesome occasion."