Springbok lock Lood de Jager will undergo shoulder surgery and will be sidelined for up to six months.
De Jager, who left the field in South Africa’s World Cup final win over England last year with a dislocated shoulder, suffered recurrence of the injury while on duty for Sale Sharks in the English Premiership and will now go under the knife.
Sharks coach Steve Diamond reveals: “It’s not great news on Lood.
“He’s going to have surgery and it will probably be longer [than when he first suffered the shoulder injury].
“It is probably going to be a rebuild, so will be five to six months.”
The Boks have suffered a number of blows in recent weeks, with De Jager’s fellow locks RG Snyman (knee), Eben Etzebeth (ribs) and flyhalf Handre Pollard (knee) suffering long-term injuries after returning to action in the UK.