Johannesburg - The timing of the injury to JP Duminy could prove hazardous to the Cricket World Cup ambitions of the Proteas if he fails to regain form in time.
Described as an aggressive accumulator and a vital cog in the South African batting order, Duminy is known for his ability to adapt to any match situation.
Add in his recent form with the ball in limited overs cricket which has yielded 10 wickets this year - many of which were crucial breakthroughs for the Proteas - and Duminy has become indispensable in the line-up.
Duminy burst onto the cricket scene in his debut Test series against Australia in Perth in December 2008. He made 50 not out in the second innings in his first Test as South Africa chased down a mammoth 414 to win. In the second Test Duminy notched up his first Test century with a match-winning 166 in the first innings to clinch a series victory with one match left to play.
The all-rounder, recently appointed T20 captain for the Proteas in their three match series against Australia, picked up the knee injury which had bothered him as far back as the Tri-series against Zimbabwe in September.
Team management said on Sunday that Duminy would be out for a six week period of rest and rehabilitation.
It means Duminy will, if all goes well with healing the injury, only be back playing cricket by December 23. If that date is accurate, Duminy will miss the first Test against the West Indies which starts in Centurion on December 17.
With Duminy just getting back to full fitness, it means he could also miss the Test in Port Elizabeth on December 26.
Duminy has been unlucky with injury during his career - he tore his Achilles during the first Test against Australia on November 9, 2012 and was sidelined for seven months.
The result of that injury was that when he returned to the South African set-up in Tests in October 2013 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi where he scored 57 in the first innings, it would still be eight innings before he passed the 50 mark again as his form disappeared.
With his place in the Test side under scrutiny, it took a career redefining knock of 123 against Australia in the second Test in February this year to secure his spot once again in the team.
Duminy added another century - the fourth of his Test career - against Sri Lanka in mid-July in the first match in Galle to further cement his place.
These statistics, however, reveal it took the player five months to regain his best form, and with the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand starting in February it is time that Duminy can ill-afford.