Bulls fly-half Handré Pollard might miss the opening weeks of the 2016 Super Rugby competition due to a shoulder strain.
The Bulls confirmed speculation about Pollard's fitness on Thursday.
Pollard picked up a knock in the Rugby World Cup tournament while playing for the Springboks against Scotland and it was later diagnosed as cartilage damage. He recovered from this, but the injury flared up again while playing club rugby in Japan.
According to the BBC High Performance Manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg, a consultation with a shoulder specialist revealed that the player will need some rest and rehabilitation.
“Handré will undergo a very thorough rehabilitation programme to improve the mobility and strength of the shoulder," Janse van Rensburg said.
"We will then have another look in four weeks. If it becomes clear in this time that the shoulder is not responding to treatment, we will discuss the options of surgery.
"We are confident though that the decision to rehabilitate the shoulder for now will be the best one and this will hopefully ensure Handre be fit and ready for the 2016 Super Rugby competition."