He will miss at least the first Test, which starts in Bangalore on October 6, but said he had no guarantee of being right to play the second Test in Chennai, which follows only four days after the first Test.
Ponting said he was hopeful of avoiding an operation on the thumb, but said he would not be taking any chances on re-injuring the bone. "I'll take it pretty cautiously for the first two weeks and make sure I give myself the best chance of being over there as early as I can," Ponting said.
"It's just going to depend on, first of all, if I have to have an operation on it, and if I don't, just how it feels for me day-to-day. "Hopefully, I don't have to have an operation." Ponting said the injury setback was a major blow with such a significant series in prospect in India, where Australia have not won a series in five tours since Bill Lawry's team's 3-1 victory there in 1969-70.
"We've been looking forward to the Indian tour for a long time, and for me personally, being captain of the side, also not having made many runs on the last tour, I was pretty keen to get there and play well," Ponting said.