Side strain rules Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood out of first Test against South Africa

Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the first Test against South Africa, starting in Brisbane on Saturday, due to a side strain.

Hazlewood and captain Pat Cummins missed the second Test victory over the West Indies but the latter is on track to return from a quad strain for the series opener against the Proteas.

Australia named a 14-man squad for the first of three Tests against South Africa and Cummins is expected to replace Michael Neser or Scott Boland from the side that did duty against the Windies.

"Pat continues to improve, bowled with freedom on Saturday and appears likely to play this match although Josh will need more time," Australia selector George Bailey said.

"Michael bowled superbly in Adelaide, as did Scott. We were impressed as always with their performances that backed up what they have achieved in the past."

Hazlewood will look to prove his fitness for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne or the final game of the series scheduled to be played in Sydney from 4 January.

"The side strain is at the most minor end of the spectrum we could hope for," Nick Jones, the Australia physio, said.

"It's a different area of injury [to last season]. At the moment the turnaround time we are expecting is a bit quicker.

"He's certainly a chance for Boxing Day, and if he wasn't to come up for that we certainly think he is a live option for Sydney as well.

"But you can't always predict accurately. Sides can be a tricky thing, you can't always predict exactly how soon that will settle down.

"But everything is working in his favour because it is at the minor end and he hasn't lost any strength or any power."

Australia Test squad David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland, Michael Neser, Marcus Harris, Lance Morris

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