Cricket - De Villiers set to face Australia despite hand surgery

South Africa wicketkeeper AB de Villiers will undergo hand surgery on Friday, but is expected to be fit for the upcoming series against Australia, a Cricket South Africa spokesman said on Thursday.

De Villiers will have a plate in his hand removed after it started to cause him discomfort, in a delayed procedure announced a week ago.

The plate was inserted after he suffered a break in the Indian Premier League two years ago.

"The recovery period is usually three to four weeks and he should be ready in time for the series against Australia in February," said South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee.

South Africa are resting key fast bowler Dale Steyn, who suffered a small fracture in his rib in last month's test win over India in Durban, so that he can also be fit for the series.

South Africa will play three tests and three Twenty20 internationals against Australia, with the first test starting in Pretoria on Feb. 12.

Both teams are in good form after South Africa won a two-match series against India 1-0 last month and Australia completed a one-sided 5-0 triumph over England in the Ashes.