South African Test captain Graeme Smith will miss the Indian Premier League 2012 as he undergoes an operation to fix an ankle injury.
A recovery time of eight to ten weeks puts him out of contention for the tournament, where he was due to represent the Pune Warriors.
He has been diagnosed an impingement syndrome of his left ankle and will undergo surgeryon Tuesday 10th April and his recovery should be complete in time for the tour of England later this year.
"The recovery period after such a surgery usually takes 8-10 weeks, and he will subsequently not be able to represent Pune Warriors at the 2012 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in India," Cricket South Africa (CSA), Team Manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee confirmed.
Smith added: "I’m very disappointed to be missing out on the IPL this year. I was looking forward to my second season with Pune Warriors, especially after my knee set me back last season. I would like to wish them all of the best this year, I’m sure the new management and exciting new signings will be a positive boost for the side.
"My ankle has been troubling me for some time so it will be a relief to have it repaired, especially looking ahead to the crucial year of cricket ahead."
Smith missed part of the 2011 season due to a knee injury and had also suffered a fractured finger while playing for the Rajasthan Royals in 2010.
He had previously helped the Royals win the inagural tournament in 2008 before he transferred to Pune following the player auction in 2011.
The injury is another blow for Pune, who did not pick up any players at the 2012 auction and will have to make do without star player Yuvraj Singh, who is recovering from a lung tumour.
They have, however, signed Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal and Australian Michael Clarke while Sourav Ganguly will lead the side in the IPL 2012.
Smith, Test captain of South Africa since 2003, has played 97 Tests, 180 One-Day Internationals and 33 Twenty20 Internationals for his country.
© Cricket World 2012