South Africa are sweating on an injury to star wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock on the eve of the third and final test against New Zealand, starting in Hamilton on Saturday.

De Kock, who played the most important innings of the second test in Wellington, suffered a blow on his right index finger during that match.

He had an x-ray in Hamilton yesterday, which revealed no fracture, but did show up ligament damage to the top joint of his finger.

"Tomorrow, we'll make a late call whether, with the protective strapping the physio is trying to arrange, he can bat," said team doctor and manager Mohammed Moosajee today.


Uncapped back-up wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen is on standby, if de Kock doesn't make the startline on Saturday.

However, Moosajee pointed to longer term issues for de Kock.

He is due to play in the Indian Premier League, where he's contracted to the Delhi Daredevils. Moosajee said de Kock will need four to six weeks to recover.

"There is every likelihood he will pull out," he said. "Every time he catches the ball, stress goes on that area.

"He is going to need a period of recovery."

Further ahead, there is the Champions Trophy in England, starting in June. Moosajee said his involvement in that could be in jeopardy.

De Kock's 91 pulled the match around, after South Africa were struggling at 94 for six, replying to New Zealand's first innings 268 at the Basin Reserve.

He carried South Africa to an 91-run lead, from which they pushed on, as New Zealand collapsed to a surprise eight-wicket win.