South Africa batsman JP Duminy could miss up to six months after rupturing an Achilles tendon following day one of the opening Test against Australia.
Duminy, 28, was taking part in warm-down exercises in Brisbane when he fell to the turf clutching his left leg.
He will have surgery on Saturday.
"Injuries of this nature have been known to take up to six months before the player can resume playing cricket," said South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee.
"He is obviously disappointed, but JP, being JP, is trying his best to stay positive. He says everything happens for a reason."
Moosajee added: "At first assessment JP said he heard a loud clicking sound and it felt like he had been hit by an object.
"The diagnosis of an Achilles tendon rupture was confirmed by the MRI scan."
Number seven batsman Duminy, who has scored almost 800 Test runs at an average of 37.57 in his career, watched from the pavilion as South Africa closed on 255-2 to take charge at the Gabba.
The tourists' 12th man Francois du Plessis will field in Duminy's place but will not be able to bat.
Left-hander Duminy will return to South Africa after surgery and the Proteas say they will name a replacement "in due course".