Surrey have signed South Africa's Dean Elgar as an overseas player for the first couple of months of the county season.
Elgar, who had a brief spell at the club in 2015, is expected to be available for the club's first County Championship game of the season; a match against Hampshire that starts on April 20.
While Elgar will be unavailable for a Championship match against Worcestershire in May - he has a commitment elsewhere - he is expected to play in all Surrey's other games before the end of May.
Elgar replaces Mitchell Marsh, the club's original choice of overseas player, who requires surgery on his ankle. A hugely experienced batsman, Elgar has represented South Africa in 49 Tests and is currently placed at No. 8 in the ICC's Test rankings. As well as previous experience with Somerset, who he represented in 2013 (when he averaged 40 in the Championship) and 2017 (when he averaged 47), Elgar recently carried his bat in the Cape Town Test. That made him one of just two men - Desmond Haynes is the other - to have carried their bat three times in a Test.
"Given the news that Mitch Marsh will need ankle surgery, to be able to bring someone of Dean's calibre to the club, at such short notice, for the first period of the season is a real bonus," Alec Stewart, Surrey's director of cricket, said.
"We know Dean well after his time with us in 2015 and his international quality and experience will be a real asset. We look forward to welcoming him to the Kia Oval."