Dewald Pretorius could have played his final game for Warwickshire after injury ended his season early.
Pretorius has a 'stress reaction' to his left tibia and has returned to South Africa to rest and recuperate.
Although he has a year left of his contract, Pretorius has become increasingly frustrated with life at Warwickshire. A series of niggling injuries have limited his involvement and he has been reduced to a bit-part role in the team.
The latest injury appears to have been the catalyst for club and player to discuss his position and Pretorius indicated he does not wish to fulfil the final year of his contract.
Pretorius has never really fulfilled his promise at Edgbaston. Blessed with natural pace and athleticism, he was dogged by form and fitness problems and found the soft nature of English pitches not conducive to his style of fast bowling.
There were glimpses of the cutting-edge bowler the club so required. In three games against Surrey last year - in both Championship matches and the home totesport League game - he contributed incisive spells that contributed much to victories.
Just under a month ago he produced perhaps his finest spell for the club, ripping through the Kent top order in a spell of five wickets for 32.
Such moments have been few and far between, however. Generally he has lacked the bite to trouble county batsmen and, even when fit, has fallen behind other bowlers in the bid for a first team position. His 12 Championship wickets this season have come at a cost of 37 apiece, while last season he took 24 at 39 each.
No-one could fault his effort or commitment and Pretorius' amiable personality made him a popular member of the team with colleagues and supporters alike. But as a highly-paid overseas player much is expected, and a failure to take any five-wicket hauls in first-class cricket has been a major disappointment.
Ultimately it will be up to the player to decide whether he returns, but some negotiation with the club over a more realistic salary is also likely to be necessary.
Aged just 28, Pretorius' whole future in cricket is now at a crossroads. Having originally signed as an overseas player, he soon took advantage of the Kolpak ruling, but in the process limited his availability in his homeland. Strictly speaking, he can only play in South Africa as an overseas player, though loopholes in the laws have been exploited by others.
Besides, few players outside the international teams make much money from cricket in South Africa, and it is quite possible that a career that included four Test appearances may be at an end.
Meanwhile, Naqaash Tahir returns to action for Warwickshire Seconds today when they play their Worcestershire counterparts at Ombersley in a Second XI Championship match.
The fast bowler has not played since the beginning of June, but is gradually building up his pace and looked highly impressive in the nets at Leicester yesterday.
Nick Warren, who has also not played since injuring his hand in the game against Northamptonshire on June 24, is also close to a return.
Luke Parker will captain unless he is required in the first-team squad. Stuart Eustace, who will share wicketkeeping duties with Freddy Klokker, will deputise as captain if required.
Neil Abberley will coach the team. Allan Donald has returned to South Africa early due to a family health problem and may have concluded his employment with the club.