Australia will give Jason Krejza until Friday morning to prove his fitness for the second Test against New Zealand.
The off-spinner, who took 12 wickets on debut against India earlier this month, injured his right ankle in training on Wednesday and is a major doubt to feature at the Adelaide Oval.
If Krejza fails to recover in time, Nathan Hauritz is set for a shock return to the international arena.
Hauritz played a solitary Test on the tour of India four years ago and has also made eight one-day international appearances, the most recent in March 2003.
The 27-year-old's career has since stalled, prompting a switch from his native Queensland to New South Wales in 2006, although he has failed to hold down a regular first-team place with the Blues.
"It's a big shock for him...hopefully he contributes well if he gets his chance," said Ponting.
"We thought Nathan was the best skilled and the most experienced of the spinners playing around Australia at the moment.
"His form and the way he's been bowling has impressed our selectors around Australia who've been to see him.
"I've always liked Nathan, the way he's gone about his cricket and like him as a bowler. He's played a number of one day games for us over the years, he debuted in India a couple of years ago as well and didn't let anyone down in that game."
On the need to include a spinner in Adelaide, Ponting added: "It tends to hold together a lot better now than it did five or six years ago, it used to break up pretty dramatically.
"The fast bowlers, once you get in against them, can all feel pretty similar so to have someone who can change the pace up and drift the ball and spin it a little bit is obviously a good weapon to have."
Tasmania seamer Peter Siddle is part of Australia's 13-man squad but is likely to be surplus to requirements along with either Krejza or Hauritz.
Australia won the first Test by 149 runs in Brisbane and require only a draw in Adelaide to claim the two-match series.