Fourie du Preez will miss the remainder of the South African season following an ankle injury sustained by the Springbok scrumhalf in last Saturday’s 55-6 Test victory over Scotland in Port Elizabeth.
Du Preez left the field in the first half of the Test.
He was sent for x-rays immediately afterwards and went for an MRI scan in Pretoria on Monday, which confirmed earlier suspicions of an anterior syndesmotic injury.
He will be sidelined for approximately six months following the results of a procedure carried out on the Springbok scrumhalf in Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s a massive blow to lose yet another world-class player and a key player due to an injury,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“Fourie is also a dynamic leader and one of the vice-captains in our team and his injury is a huge setback.
“Fourie has been brilliant since he returned to the Springboks last year and he will be missed. However, this provides an opportunity for other scrumhalves to prove themselves and make the step up when the opportunity arises.”
According to Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts, Du Preez will undergo a procedure in the coming days to determine the stability of the syndesmosis.
“If it is unstable, he will require screw fixation but if it remains stable he can be treated conservatively without surgery,” said Roberts.
“If it is stable and it is treated conservatively, Fourie will be out for approximately three months, but it could be more if he requires surgical fixation.”
At the moment, six Springboks who featured for South Africa in the last year are not available for the Rugby Championship.
They are Du Preez, Jaque Fourie (ankle), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Arno Botha (knee), Pierre Spies (bicep) and Flip van der Merwe (knee).