Hashim Amla suffered a grade one left groin strain during South Africa's 17-run defeat to Sri Lanka in the second One-Day International in Colombo.
He had only just returned to the side following a neck injury but had to leave the field during Sri Lanka's innings and was unable to bat.
Replying to Sri Lanka's 223 for nine in a rain-affected match, South Africa closed on 104 for five and are now 2-0 down in the five-match series.
"Hashim jarred his left knee into the ground while fielding, after which he reported discomfort in the pelvic and groin region," South Africa's team manager Dr. Mohammed Moosajee confirmed.
"He was assessed to have a Grade 1 strain to the left groin muscle, which was confirmed by an MRI scan.
"Injuries of this nature usually take 3-7 days to recover, but he will receive intensive treatment and rehab in the coming days to give him the best possible chance of being ready for the third or fourth ODI in Kandy this week."
Robin Peterson was employed as an emergency opener in Amla's absence but should he fail to recover in time for Friday's third match, another option is to recall Colin Ingram, who played in the first match when Amla was unavailable.
© Cricket World 2013