Springboks utility back Frans Steyn faces a race against time to feature at the 2023 Rugby World Cup later this year.
The double World Cup winner’s chance of playing at a fourth tournament hangs in the balance after sustaining a knee injury.
Steyn goes under the knife
According to a Netwerk24 report, Steyn underwent surgery this week after seeing a specialist for a swollen knee.
He sustained the injury in the Cheetahs‘ Currie Cup tie against the Blue Bulls, which the Bloemfontein-based side won 32-7.
The report adds that it is unclear how long Steyn will be out for following his keyhole surgery.
The big concern for the 35-year-old is that Cheetahs boss Hawies Fourie was quoted in Rapport confirming that he injured the same knee which sidelined him for the November internationals last year.
Giving it his best shot
Steyn played a vital role off the bench for the Springboks during the 2019 Rugby World Cup with his ability to play fly-half, centre and full-back, allowing the coaches to select a six/two bench.
He became just the second South African player to win the World Cup twice, following Springbok great Os du Randt.
Like Du Randt, Steyn won his two tournaments 12 years apart, first lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in 2007 as a 20-year-old.
He has played 76 Tests for South Africa, scoring 287 points, has won the Rugby Championship and was part of the 2009 and 2021 Springboks squads that defeated the British and Irish Lions.
Just last month, Steyn said he was determined to make the Boks squad for the tournament in France.
“I can’t say I’m going to the World Cup, and this is what I’m going to do there; it doesn’t work like that. To be selected for the Springbok squad, you need to be on form, so I must play well for the Cheetahs,” Steyn told BokSquad.
“There are a lot of young guys who are playing well at the moment, and if they are better than me, I’m happy for them to go represent us at the World Cup and make us proud. But I’m going to give it my best shot.”