The Springboks have suffered yet another enormous setback ahead of the June Test series against France, with flyhalf Handré Pollard ruled out for between eight and 10 weeks on Thursday.
The Bulls announced on their website that the 23-year-old Pollard, who missed the entire rugby season last year with shoulder and knee problems, sustained an ankle injury during practice on Thursday morning.
“The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd would like to confirm that flyhalf Handré Pollard injured his right ankle (syndesmosis) during training this morning (Thursday 20 April),” the Bulls said in a statement.
“The Bulls pivot is seeing a specialist regarding surgical procedure, and is expected to be out of action for 8 to 10 weeks. More information will be released as soon as it is available.”
Pollard was making his way back into the game this season after picking up a knee ligament injury during pre-season in February last year.
While he has battled to regain top form this season, the 23-year-old was sure to feature in Allister Coetzee’s plans for the Springboks’ three-Test series against France in June, especially with Patrick Lambie still on the sidelines.
But if he’s sidelined for a minimum of eight weeks, Pollard will miss the first two Tests at Loftus Versfeld on June 10 and Kings Park seven days later.
The final game takes place on June 24 at Ellis Park, but Pollard is unlikely to come back that week after such a long time out of the game.
The immediate effect of Pollard’s injury is at the Bulls for Saturday’s clash against the Cheetahs in Pretoria.
Pollard was named in the team earlier on Thursday, but will now be replaced at flyhalf by Tian Schoeman, with Francois Brummer coming on to the bench.