The 32-year-old suffered the blow during the Caribbean Premier League tournament in July and later underwent a surgery in October which kept him out of action for series against New Zealand and Australia.
The decision to stand down as captain came from de Villiers after he lost the battle to be fit in time for the Test series against Sri Lanka which kicks off on 26th December.
Faf du Plessis is expected to lead the side full-time now after he successfully led the Proteas to a 2-1 series victory in Australia recently.
“The interests of the team must always outweigh the interests of any individual, including me,” de Villiers said.
“It was a fantastic honour for me to be asked to captain the Test side but I have missed two series and I am still in doubt for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.
“Following the squad’s outstanding performances in Australia, it is clearly in the greater interests of the team that Faf du Plessis should be confirmed as the permanent Test captain.”
Earlier, de Villiers took over the captaincy after Hashim Amla resigned during the middle of the Test series against England earlier this year.
De Villiers, however, is targeting to make a return in the limited overs leg of the tournament which contains three Twenty20 Internationals and five One-Day Internationals. (Courtesy Cricketworld.com)