Du Preez blow for Boks

Fourie du Preez has been ruled out for four to six weeks with a knee injury.

The scrumhalf tore medial collateral ligaments during a training session with his Japanese club last week.

The Sharks' Cobus Reinach is also still nursing a hand injury, making Ruan Pienaar, Faf de Klerk and Rudy Paige the only fit and available scrumhalves in the squad ahead of the Rugby Championship.

Other injured players are Heinrich Brüssow (arm), Schalk Burger (groin), Lood de Jager (elbow), Jean de Villiers (knee), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee), Pat Lambie (neck), Lionel Mapoe (knee), Jan Serfontein (hip and knee), Frans Steyn (pectoral muscle) and Duane Vermeulen (neck).

Furthermore, Coenie Oosthuizen underwent surgery on his neck last week and hasn’t joined the squad, Jaque Fourie will undergo a strict conditioning programme in the coming weeks, and Willem Alberts was withdrawn from Monday’s training session because of an ankle niggle.

Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts on Monday said each of the injured players in the squad will be managed individually in terms of when they return to full training or playing in a match.

'Every effort will be made to ensure as many of the injured players get game time before we finalise the squad for the World Cup,' said Roberts. 'Obviously we would’ve liked to have a squad with fully fit players available, but we have to play the hand we are dealt and will work with all of these players individually over the coming weeks.

'Players will be managed individually and we could send them back to their provinces to get game time, but that will be done in consultation with the unions and only when necessary.'

Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams