Johannesburg – Bulls loose forward Arno Botha will miss most of the 2014 Super Rugby season after he was ruled out for six months with a knee injury.

Botha picked up the injury to his anterior cruciate ligaments against the Stormers in Saturday's season opening friendly in Polokwane. It was the same injury he picked up in June last year.

“Arno was pivotal for our Super Rugby campaign during 2014,” Bulls team doctor Org Strauss said in a statement on Monday.

“He was very influential in his time on the field against the Stormers before his injury and it was great to see him return to his best form after his previous injury.”

Botha is scheduled to undergo surgery in Pretoria next Tuesday.

“We wish Arno all the best for the surgery as well as the road to recovery ahead and together with our medical and rehabilitation team we will work together to ensure Arno's return to the field later this year,” Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said.

Francois Hougaard, Jurgen Visser and Dean Greyling will all return to training on Tuesday, while Deon Stegmann will miss a week of training following a groin abductor strain. Marvin Orie (leg fracture) and Morne Mellett (back) are still out of action.

Jesse Kriel, who scored a try for the Blue Bulls in their match against the Golden Lions, was ruled out for a month due to a calf injury. – Sapa