The 32-year-old batsman -- who became only the fourth South African to score a century on his Test debut in 2012 -- returned home for the birth of his first child last week, but will be unable to return in time for the opening match of the four-Test series.
"Faf’s wife gave birth to their first child last week but the difficult nature of the delivery has delayed his return to the UK," said South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee.
"The mother and baby have settled at home but he will be unable to make it back in time to take part in the first Test match.
"He will link up with the squad in the UK later this week."
Opening batsman Dean Elgar -- who has seven Test centuries to his credit -- will captain the side in Du Plessis' absence.
Cricket South AfricaDean Elgardu plessisEngland vs South AfricaEngland vs South Africa 2017Faf du Plessislord'sLord's Test
First Published: July 3, 2017, 3:31 PM IST