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Steyn, who has taken 417 test wickets for South Africa, has been sidelined since fracturing his shoulder while bowling against Australia in a test in Perth in November.
It is the second time his comeback has been put on hold. He was supposed to tour England with South Africa A in June but said then his rehabilitation had not gone as quickly as hoped.
“Right now I’m bowling fine but I haven’t hit the full workload I’d need to handle in four-day cricket or a test‚ so I decided it was best not to play,” the 34-year-old told Cricinfo on Thursday.
Steyn was planning to make his comeback for the Titans against the Dolphins on Tuesday (local time).
His decision puts in jeopardy his chances of a comeback in the two-test series against Bangladesh‚ which starts in Potchefstroom on September 28.
He said he would rather play limited overs or club cricket to ease himself back into action.
“I don’t want to put myself or the team in a position where I pull up again," he said.
"Some shorter cricket might be the better answer for a reintroduction... I thought going from nothing to possibly bowling 30-plus overs was a bit of a risk."
Steyn, who is just five shy of surpassing Shaun Pollock as the country’s leading test wicket taker, also missed most of the 2015-16 test series against England because of shoulder problems.
He suffered the original injury in the Durban test against England at the end of 2015.