Springbok and Stormers rugby player Schalk Burger was on Wednesday diagnosed as having contracted bacterial meningitis, according to a family spokeswomen.

"Given a successful recovery, he will remain in hospital for the next 14 days, whereafter it will be at least another six weeks before he will be fit for playing," Fiona de Souza, spokeswomen for the Burger family, said in a statement on Thursday.

"We would like to thank the specialists looking after him, and who are doing a marvellous job, as well as everyone who has sent their best wishes, given the tough time he, his wife Michele, and son Schalk are going through."

Burger contracted the infection following an operation to reduce pressure on a nerve that was influencing the performance of his calf muscle.

Bacterial meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

This is the latest in a string of setbacks for the Stormers captain, who has been sidelined since the beginning of the 2012

Super Rugby season after he underwent surgery for a knee injury.

His return was further delayed when he picked up a calf strain in the pre-season. - Sapa