Melbourne:An elbow injury on Sunday ruled Australian pacer Stuart Clark from the first Test against South Africa in Perth, forcing the hosts to draft in Peter Siddle for the match starting December 18 in Perth.
The pacer will see an elbow surgeon this week and might have to undergo an operation to heal the nagging injury.
"Based on the ongoing nature of his injury and the information available to us, it's been decided that he will see an elbow surgeon early this week with a view to having arthroscopic surgery," Australian physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a statement.
"It's extremely disappointing for Stuart Clark and the Australian team that his elbow injury has come at such an important stage of season," Cricket Australia National Selection Panel Chairman Andrew Hilditch added.
Clark has been battling the elbow problem for quite some while and his condition hasn't improved much even after taking a break from the Test series against New Zealand.
"At training in Perth this morning, he again experienced further pain while bowling that is significantly more than he has had in recent times. As such, he has been ruled out of this week's 3 Mobile Test at the WACA," Kontouris said.
"His return to cricket will be determined once he sees the specialist and a decision is made on the best course of management," he added.