Handre Pollard out for nine months after freak accident in training
Last Updated: 09/02/16 5:17pm
South Africa fly-half Handre Pollard could be sidelined for nine months after rupturing knee ligaments in a freak training accident.
The 21-year-old is to undergo surgery and will miss the Super Rugby season, the Test series against Ireland and the Rugby Championship, the Bulls have confirmed.
Pollard recently extended his contract with the Pretoria-based Super Rugby franchise until 2019 but was allowed to play in Japan for three months after the World Cup.
He was injured while undergoing fitness tests with the Bulls on his first day back since returning to South Africa.
"Handre was easing back into training, his first phase of final rehab before being cleared to play, and was busy with a passing drill when he injured himself," coach Nollis Marais said in a statement.
"This is pretty devastating for all of us as Handre was a key player for us."
The pivot has won 20 Test caps for the Springboks since making his debut in 2014 and was among South Africa's leading performers when they finished third after losing to New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals.
The Bulls start their Super Rugby campaign on February 27 when they travel to Newlands to take on the Stormers, live on Sky Sports 4.