LONDON  - Veteran Ireland batsman Ed Joyce has been ruled out of the upcoming tour of South Africa with a knee injury, Cricket Ireland said Friday. Sussex left-hander Joyce, 38 next week, has been suffering from what a Cricket Ireland statement said was a "progressive knee injury" that requires minor surgery.

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The former England international's place will be taken by Sean Terry, who plays for Irish side Leinster. The son of former Hampshire and England batsman Paul Terry, Sean qualifies for Ireland through his Irish mother and made his international debut against Afghanistan earlier this season. Ireland are due to play one-day internationals against hosts South Africa and world champions Australia in Benoni.

"It's obviously a blow to lose someone of Ed's calibre, but Sean Terry is a batsman of undoubted promise," said Ireland coach John Bracewell.

"Given the likely pitch in Benoni, and the likelihood we will be facing two majority pace attacks, the selectors felt that Sean was the logical replacement," the former New Zealand off-spinner added. Meanwhile officials have given Tim Murtagh special dispensation to join up late with the Ireland squad as the paceman tries to help Middlesex win England's County Championship trophy in their final match of the season against title rivals and defending champions Yorkshire at Lord's next week.

"This match means a huge amount to both Tim and Middlesex," said Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth. "Having played with the club for 10 years, it would be the culmination of one of his most fiercely held ambitions. While the remainder of the squad will travel out tomorrow (Saturday), we felt this was an exceptional situation and a game which we should allow Tim to play in."

Middlesex have agreed to fly Murtagh out to South Africa as soon as the game finishes so he can join up with the Ireland squad ahead of the first ODI against South Africa on September 25.