South Africa hope to know more about the extent of Mark Boucher's eye injury after the wicketkeeper underwent surgery on Monday night.
Boucher, 35, was struck in the left eyeball by a bail on day one of the Proteas' tour match against Somerset after a ball from spinner Imran Tahir clean bowled Gemaal Hussain. Boucher immediately hit the ground and was helped from the pitch with blood apparently coming from his eye.
South Africa's team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee confirmed a "laceration" to the white of the eye and after a visit to Accident and Emergency in Taunton, Boucher was scheduled for an operation.
His availability for the remainder of what could have been his final international tour is clearly in doubt, though there are also wider health concerns which should become clearer on Tuesday. Moosajee said: "It is a significant injury. Mark sustained a direct blow to the left eye, which resulted in a laceration to the white part. It is what we call an eyeball rupture.
"The ophthalmic surgeon had a look at him at the Accident and Emergency Unit and decided that he needed to undergo exploratory surgery to identify the extent of the damage. After the operation we will talk to the surgeon again. With eye injuries one cannot make predictions.
"From a medical point of view a lot depends on whether there is damage to the retina, which allows us to see and focus. We won't know about that until after the surgery. The surgeons will be able to give us a better indication of the damage after the operation. Then it will take 48 to 72 hours for the swelling to start going down.''
Dr Moosajee was more worried about Boucher's health than his place in the side but a decision will have to be made whether to use the versatile AB de Villiers behind the stumps or send for specialist replacement Thami Tsolekile.
"The concern at the moment is for Mark Boucher the patient, rather than whether he is going to take part in the rest of the tour,'' he said. "The selectors back home are being kept abreast of what is happening. I don't think he will be ready for the first Test, if the series, but I would like to wait for the information the surgery gives us.''
South Africa coach Allan Donald was distraught for his former team-mate, who had big plans for the current tour. Donald told Sky Sports News: "He wanted to finish here. He's been talking about maybe going, if needed, to Australia but he wanted to go out on a real high in England.
"I can't think of a bigger kick in the teeth than that. To happen on the first day is a cruel blow. Let's just hope he is going to be okay and take it from there.''