Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has undergone surgery on his left knee as he battles to be fit for next year’s World Cup.
The Stormers centre was injured during South Africa’s lost to Wales last weekend and required full reconstruction of his anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments.
The injury is almost certain to keep him out of the whole of the Super Rugby season, and he now faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup.
And while the procedure itself went well according to the medical staff, it is not yet possible to tell how long he will be out exactly.
“The procedure went well, but at this stage it is difficult to determine an exact return to play time-frame,” said Springbok team doctor Roberts.
“The use of an artificial graft should speed up his rehabilitation and hopefully increase his chances of making a successful return to the playing field.”
“I would like to thank every medical practitioner involved in my injury, from Saturday when it happened until today’s operation,” added de Villiers.
“My focus will now be on the arrival of our third child in the coming days. Thereafter it will be about recovering as soon as possible so I can start with my rehabilitation.”