Southampton, June 5: Dale Steyn was preparing to fly home early from the Cricket World Cup on Tuesday (June 4) and "needs love" after his latest injury blow, captain Faf du Plessis said.
The luckless pace bowler was a pre-tournament doubt after suffering a recurrence of an issue with his right shoulder and missed the opening matches against England and Bangladesh.
South Africa lost both, putting their semi-final prospects in doubt, and now 35-year-old Steyn cannot ride to the rescue after a second shoulder issue emerged, ruling him out of the entire tournament.
The desperate blow to the Proteas comes with Steyn's fellow quick Lungi Ngidi temporarily sidelined, and with India up next in Southampton on Wednesday (June 5).
Du Plessis said there was a danger of players going into a "self-pity cycle" as results and injuries swing against South Africa, but he has told his charges they must not let that happen.
Steyn will not stay with the camp, Du Plessis confirmed, but the skipper said there is a duty of care issue.
"It's important that us as the team and the management make sure there's things in place for him to assist him, to be there for him. He needs love at the moment," Du Plessis said.
Steyn's World Cup career ended with the injury confirmation, and some reports in South Africa have even suggested he could retire upon returning home.
Du Plessis said: "The medical decision was made that because his shoulder was weak after bowling and he couldn't really get a second spell in again, that it would be very challenging to get him at full 100 per cent match intensity to be ready for a World Cup game so a decision was made."
Team doctor Mohammed Moosajee described Steyn's injury as "a shoulder impingement syndrome" and said he was seen by an orthopaedic specialist in London.
Steyn had an injection that South Africa hoped would solve the problem but which failed to bring about the necessary signs of improvement.
Left-armer Beuran Hendricks, who has made only two ODI appearances, has been named as a replacement for Steyn, who stands fifth on the list of South Africa's leading wicket-takers with 194 from 123 matches in the 50-over format.