Blue Bulls loose forward Arno Botha will miss the opening month of this year's Currie Cup competition due to a knee strain, it's been confirmed.
The Springbok suffered a medial meniscal tear on Friday during the Blue Bulls match against Canon Eagles in Japan. He has been ruled out for between four and five weeks, team doctor Org Strauss revealed on Monday.
Two more players involved in that match, Lappies Labuschagne (lower back) and Roelof Smit (influenza), will train on Tuesday only, but will be available for selection for the team to play the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday in the opening round of the Currie Cup.
Jurgen Visser (hamstring) has also been cleared to join training on Tuesday, but Justin Forwood (rib, two weeks) and Neethling Fouche (ankle, two weeks) will only be back on the field later this month.
Pierre Schoeman (knee, August 15) and Ruan Steenkamp (knee, August 15) will be back later this month and Duncan Matthews and Ryan Nell should be able to play again at the end of August, following knee surgery.
Irne Herbst and Piet van Zyl (knees) are out for the season, as is Dennis Visser (ankle) and Morne Mellett, who underwent successful surgery on a vertebral artery dissection. He will be out for at least six months.