AB de Villiers hopes to defy specialists and make an early return from elbow surgery in time for the final Test of South Africa's series against Australia next month.

De Villiers was ruled out of the Proteas' one-day internationals with Australia and the reverse Test series that begins in Perth next month after needing treatment on his elbow problem that surfaced during the Caribbean Premier League in July.

The 32-year-old is not ruling out an appearance in the third Test in Adelaide, though, as he aims to speed up his recovery programme.

"I am holding on to that [playing in the third Test]," he told Five AA radio.

"According to the surgeons and the doctors, there's no chance. They gave me six weeks before rehab starts but I always feel the rehab phase can be sped up a bit.

"Maybe after the six weeks if I do fly over straight away, I will be there for the second Test match, have the opportunity to prepare during that game, not play in it and then be ready for the Adelaide Test which would be a dream come to true to play in a day-night Test match against Australia at the Adelaide Oval."

In De Villiers' absence South Africa have already sealed the home ODI series with victories in all three matches played so far.