Stuart Broad says the loss of James Anderson for England's first Test against South Africa is not a "hammer blow", but hopes his team-mate will feature at some point in the series.
The seam bowler, who is his country's leading wicket-taker with 426 scalps in the long form of the game, has failed to recover from a calf strain in time for the first match of the series, which begins in Durban on Saturday.
However, the 29-year-old thinks the precautionary decision should not have too much of an impact on England's chances of a positive start to the four-Test showdown.
"Of course it's disappointing when you lose the spearhead of your attack, but I think it's just a real slight niggle and the management decided it really wasn't worth the risk in the first Test," Broad said.
"We do know this is a four-Test series and we want him to play a part in it. We've got such depth in the squad there's not the need to take a risk.
"He's disappointed, but with the strength in depth we've got in this group it's not a hammer blow to us."
Despite not being able to feature, Broad, who will lead England's attack against South Africa, still expects Anderson to play an influential role behind the scenes.
"Jimmy has already declared himself [bowling coach] Ottis Gibson's assistant. We haven't toured here for six years - a long gap - but he will be able to help whoever takes the new ball," he continued.
"Jimmy said that when he missed two Tests in the Ashes, you see the game differently from the changing room to the middle. Having that experience to feed back into the group will help.
"We're not sure what to expect out there yet - we're still a couple of days out from the Test - but we'll just have to react as quickly as we can.
"Being the leader of the attack is just that - being talkative and communicative with the group and making sure the bowlers adapt to the conditions quicker than their batsmen."