Faf du Plessis will be out of action for around six weeks and is expected to return in time for South Africa's next Test, on Boxing Day against Zimbabwe. © Getty Images

Faf du Plessis will be out of action for around six weeks and is expected to return in time for South Africa’s next Test, on Boxing Day against Zimbabwe. © Getty Images

The injury that forced Faf du Plessis to retire hurt during the third and final One-Day International against Bangladesh in East London on Sunday was confirmed to be a serious lower back injury on Tuesday (October 24), putting the South African captain out of action for up to six weeks.

Squad: JP Duminy (capt), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), AB de Villiers, Robbie Frylinck, Beuran Hendricks, David Miller, Mangaliso Mosehle, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi.

Du Plessis made 91 off 67 balls as South Africa scored 369 for 6 before bowling Bangladesh out for 169 to complete a 200-run win and a 3-0 series sweep.

He looked set to get to his ninth ODI century before pulling up while taking a run with what a team official described as an ‘acute lower back strain’. He left the field and sat out the rest of the match.

On Tuesday then, a Cricket South Africa statement said that “subsequent investigations” have confirmed the original diagnosis.

“Faf consulted with our team of specialists in Cape Town on Monday. Further investigations and assessment have confirmed an acute lumbar disc injury,” said Dr Mohammed Moosajee, the South African team manager. “He will require a period of rest and rehabilitation for the next six weeks. We anticipate him to be ready for the Test match against Zimbabwe in December.”

The Bangladesh tour, meanwhile, will end with a two-match Twenty20 International series, with the first game in Bloemfontein on Thursday and the final fixture on Sunday in Potchefstroom, which was also the venue for the first Test of the series that South Africa swept 2-0.

Fortunately for South Africa, du Plessis’s absence shouldn’t hurt them much, as they don’t have any fixtures after the Bangladesh series till December 26, the first day of the one-off Test against Zimbabwe, which will be followed by India’s multi-format tour in January 2018.

With du Plessis out of the picture, JP Duminy will lead the T20I squad, and Dwaine Pretorius, the allrounder, has been called up as replacement.