Graeme Smith was named in South Africa's test and one-day squads on Tuesday for the series against Pakistan next month even though the opening batsman hasn't fully recovered from ankle surgery.
Head selector Andrew Hudson said team management "should have a definite picture" of Smith's recovery in the next two weeks after South Africa's test captain had pins inserted to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle in May and missed the Champions Trophy and the Proteas' limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn returned to both squads alongside Smith after he also missed the trip to Sri Lanka in July and August with injury.
Allrounder Jacques Kallis was again left out of the ODI squad having chosen not to play at the Champions Trophy for personal reasons, and South Africa will continue to manage the limited-overs workload of Kallis, who will turn 38 next month during the series against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates. Kallis has said he still wants to play at the 2015 World Cup, but hasn't appeared in a one-day international since February 2012.
Top-ranked South Africa plays two tests against Pakistan from Oct. 14, followed by five ODIs and two Twenty20 games.
Management believes Smith will be fit to play in both the tests and one-dayers, although his rehabilitation will be carefully monitored, Hudson said.
"(We) do not want to overload him too much during the early stages of his return," Hudson said.
South Africa kept faith with the same test squad that delivered series whitewashes over New Zealand and Pakistan at home this year. The Proteas are unbeaten in their last 12 test series and have won six straight. They last lost a test in 2011 and last lost a series in 2009.
Pakistan-born legspinner Imran Tahir and seamers Wayne Parnell and Vernon Philander were recalled to the one-day squad, where South Africa's record has not been as impressive, losing 4-1 in Sri Lanka.
Cricket South Africa said it would select the Twenty20 squad to face Pakistan after the upcoming Champions League T20 in India.