The Durham Times reports that Herschelle Gibbs was introduced to the local cricket media and Durham announced that Paul Collingwood is out for a month.
The England World Twenty20-winning captain will miss all the Friends Life t20 group games because of a broken finger.
Collingwood suffered the damage when hit by a ball from Warwickshire's Chris Wright last Friday and the initial X-ray suggested no break. But an MRI scan has revealed a fractured metatarsal.
It's a second setback for Durham, who had signalled their intention to make a serious attempt at winning the competition by signing Gibbs and Mitchell Johnson as their two overseas players.
Johnson was ruled out when he was recalled to Australia's one-day squad and Durham have been unable to find a suitable replacement.
The news of Collingwood was a blow to Gibbs, who played with him in the Perth Scorchers team which reached the final of Australia's Big Bash during the winter.
"It's nice to walk into a dressing room knowing some of the lads," he said. "It's not always that easy, but with the experience I have of playing around the world it's not difficult to settle in.
"I always enjoy coming to the UK to play cricket. I'm still trying to figure out what is is, but there's a different sort of banter, which makes for an interesting experience."
Gibbs, 38, played in 90 Tests for South Africa but is now a globe-trotting Twenty20 player and has come to England direct from the Indian Premier League.
He played for Yorkshire in the competition two years ago, scoring 76 not out in a nine-wicket win against Durham at Headingley and ten in the return at Riverside, which Durham won by six wickets.
"I remember it was good pitch with pace and bounce, which is what you want," he said. "But there wasn't so much wet weather that year."
Based on last season's performance, Durham will miss Collingwood's bowling more than his batting. In 13 matches he took 16 wickets at an average of 9.81 with an impressive economy rate for this format of 5.81 runs an over.
Durham are still uncertain whether one-day regular Gareth Breese will be fit for the first game at Headingley on this (Friday) evening, although he has recovered more quickly than expected from the torn calf he suffered at the Oval last month.