Ntini out for the summer

South Africa has lost fast bowler Makhaya Ntini for the rest of the second Test - and possibly the remainder of the Australian summer - with a knee injury.

Proteas officials confirmed on Thursday morning that Ntini is unavailable for the final two days of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG and almost certainly also next week's third Test in Sydney, but it remains unclear how or when he suffered the injury, having delivered the final over of the day on Wednesday.

Shaun Pollock opened proceedings from the Members End on the fourth day before Andre Nel bowled the first over from the Great Southern Stand end, while South Africa has called spinner Johan Botha to Australia.

Botha made his international debut in last month's one-day series against India and was to have come to Australia for the triangular VB Series that follows the three-Test series that concludes with the SCG Test from January 2-6.

"I'm not sure whether I'm going to be considered for the third Test, or whether I'm just going for the one-dayers," Botha told Reuters from Port Elizabeth. "But it is interesting that I'm going to Australia at this stage."

"It will be quite a challenge to walk into the series cold if I play in Sydney. I'm sure the Australians will have a real go at some young guy just arriving in the middle of what is obviously an intensely contested series."

"But I'm not daunted, this is the kind of thing you dream about as a youngster. I'm so excited, it's difficult to believe it right now. I've had some good Christmases, and this is right up there with the best of them."

Botha began his career as a seamer, but a back injury last season forced him to change his style and he decided to continue with off-spin after success with it in domestic matches.

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