RULED OUT: Lood. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix/BackpagePix

The hits just keep on coming for Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.

After this weekend’s Super Rugby derby between the Bulls and the Sharks, Springbok lock Lood de Jager has been ruled out for at least four months after suffering a chest muscle injury.

With the Stormers’ Eben Etzebeth already sidelined, Erasmus’ options in the middle of the engine room are beginning to run out.

Of the injury, Bulls team doctor Herman Rossouw says: “Lood de Jager left the field in the 70th minute with an injury to a muscle in his chest wall.

“Scans revealed that he has a complete tear of that muscle. He is also consulting with a specialist and will also be out for at least four months.”

The Bulls, meanwhile, are running empty on loosehead props and coach John Mitchell might look at roping in Cheetahs front-rower Ox Nche.

With Pierre Schoeman still sidelined following his six-week suspension, the Bulls also lost Lizo Gqoboka for the remainder of the year, having suffered a tendon injury to his toe against the Sharks.

Rossouw adds: “He will need surgery for that.”

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