Cape Town - The Proteas have been forced into contemplating a Cricket World Cup squad without Dale Steyn ... and they have a 'plan B'.
That was the message from convenor of selectors Linda Zondi on Monday.
The 35-year-old Steyn, named in South Africa's 15-man squad for the global showpiece that gets underway in England next month, returned home from the IPL in India last week.
News of an all too familiar shoulder problem immediately raised fears over Steyn's participation at the tournament.
The Proteas' World Cup squad will meet up for a pre-tournament camp on May 12, and a final decision will be taken on Steyn's availability then.
He has to be 100% fit to board the plane to London.
Head coach Ottis Gibson, who doubles up as the bowling coach, will make the final call.
If Steyn is ruled out, then the selectors will have to act quickly in naming a replacement.
"Dale Steyn is definitely a concern," Zondi told Sport24.
"We have looked after Dale ever since his injury back in Australia and we have backed him. The way he bowled when he came back from injury was really encouraging.
"We are waiting for our medical team to let us know. I'm aware that he has seen the specialist already and we will be guided by them."
Zondi would not name the bowlers who are considered potential replacements, but there is a standby list of players.
"We do have our back-ups, but that decision will only be made when the team meets up. We have our 'plan B'," said Zondi.
"They have been informed ... we have communicated with them and they are aware of the plans going forward. We are monitoring them continuously in terms of where they are.
"They were notified after the squad announcement."
Steyn is expected to spearhead the Proteas seam attack at the World Cup alongside Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, with Anrich Nortje providing cover.
Logic says that the frontrunners for the call-up should Steyn be ruled out would be Beuran Hendricks and Chris Morris, but the likes of Vernon Philander and Junior Dala are also possible alternatives.
Steyn's shoulder problems, meanwhile, go back to November 2016 when he broke his shoulder on Test duty against Australia in Perth.
The Proteas play their first match of the tournament against England at The Oval on May 30.