The Blitzboks have suffered two big injury blows ahead of the next Sevens Series tournament in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Playmaker Justin Geduld and youngster Muller du Plessis have both been ruled out for six weeks after last weekend’s Cape Town Sevens event.
Du Plessis suffered a back injury, while Geduld underwent surgery to his knee on Tuesday.
Captain Philip Snyman is also a doubt, with team doctor Leigh Gordon saying: “Philip has been reviewed by a specialist and the scans showed that his injury involves the sternocostal joint (between the breastbone and the first rib).
“It is an unusual injury.
“We will have to see how his rehabilitation goes in January before we can make a call.
“Obviously we hope that he will be available for selection for the tournaments in Hamilton and Sydney, a week later.”
The Blitzboks will be boosted by the return of all-time leading points-scorer Cecil Afrika in Australasia.