DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 15: Pierre Spies (captain) of the Vodacom Bulls during the Super Rugby match between Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls at Growthpoint Kings Park on February 15, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Johannesburg – The Bulls will be without regular captain Pierre Spies for a large part of the 2014 rugby season after he was ruled out of playing due to an arm injury, the team said on Monday.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said this was a setback for the team, especially after losing Arno Botha for the rest of the season.

“Both players are Springboks, were an important part of our game plan and contributed tremendously in the leadership category,” he said in a statement.

“But we have learned by now that you have to adapt when the injury bogey strikes, so we will have to adjust accordingly.”

Spies injured his bicep, the same injury that sidelined him in June last year, resulting in him missing the remainder of the 2013


According to Bulls team doctor Org Strauss, the player complained about pain in his upper arm after the Stormers warm-up match.

A MRI scan and ultrasound of the area did not show any damage, but because the pain did not go away after the opening Super Rugby match against the Sharks two other opinions were called for. After more scans these specialists found bleeding and a ruptured bicep.

Spies will be operated on at Unitas Hospital this week and miss at least six months of rugby.

Strauss said Deon Stegmann would be seeing a specialist on Wednesday about his groin injury.

Dean Greyling sprained an ankle against the Cheetahs on Friday night, but would train on Wednesday. Morne Mellett was declared fit following his back strain. – Sapa