Australia’s firebrand opener Travis Head's participation in next month's One-Day International World Cup has been thrown into uncertainty after he fractured his left hand during the fourth ODI against South Africa in Centurion on Friday. (More Cricket News)
A bouncer from Proteas seamer Gerald Coetzee hit Head on the left glove during the seventh over in the fourth ODI.
He faced three more deliveries, but the 29-year-old looked in discomfort and was forced to retire hurt in Australia's massive 164-run defeat.
Australia head coach Andrew McDonald later said at the post match conference that it's a “confirmed fracture".
"As to the nature of what sort of time frame that lends itself to, that will be assessed tomorrow," he added.
The extent of the injury will be revealed by more scans on Saturday.
"He's going to go in for more scans tomorrow to get a detail of that, then we'll work out the management of it from there.
"I'm not a medical person but I think it's a bit higher up than the finger itself ... it's in a joint (in the hand) somewhere. Fingers crossed with the World Cup fast approaching," McDonald added.
The injury throws a spanner into Australia's plans with just three weeks to go for the World Cup in India, starting on October 5.
In case Head cannot recover in time for the start of the World Cup, Mitchell Marsh could be elevated to the opening position given his good run at the top in the series against India earlier this year.
If Head is ruled out of the entire tournament, however, Australian selectors might be tempted to add the in-form Marnus Labuschagne in the squad.
Australia will take on India in Chennai on October 8 in their tournament opener.
September 28 is the last date to make changes to the squad, post which any changes would need approval from the International Cricket Council.
(With AP inputs)