Rugby Championship: South Africa scrum-half Fourie du Preez will not play again this year after ankle op
Last Updated: 03/07/14 4:07pm
South Africa scrum-half Fourie du Preez will not play again this year after it was confirmed his ankle injury was more serious than first thought.
The South African Rugby Union had said earlier this week they expected the 32-year-old, who limped out of the 55-6 victory over Scotland on Saturday, to be sidelined for around three months.
However medical advice after surgery suggested it would take twice as long for the Suntory Sungoliath No 9 to recover.
Du Preez, 32, helped the Springboks to win the 2007 World Cup and has 70 international caps to his name.
Jaque Fourie (ankle), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Arno Botha (knee), Pierre Spies (bicep) and Flip van der Merwe (knee) are all currently on the Boks injury-list.
"It's a massive blow to lose yet another world class player and a key player due to an injury," said South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer.
"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."
South Africa, who finished second behind New Zealand in last year's Rugby Championship, begin their 2014 campaign at home to Argentina on August 16.
Watch the 2014 Rugby Championship exclusively live on Sky Sports HD4 from 10.00 on Saturday, August 16