World Cup winning lock Lood de Jager is reportedly in a race to recover from injury in time to face the British & Irish Lions.
De Jager came off second best in a freak training ground accident at English Premiership club Sale Sharks last week, leaving the 45-Test Springbok lock with a fractured leg and an injured knee, according to Rapport.
Though scans are set for next week, the injury is expected to keep him out for at least three months. This dates his earliest return to play at the beginning of July, less than three weeks before the first Test against the touring Lions.
The 28-year-old has a long injury history, notably lasting just 21 minutes of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final before leaving with a shoulder complaint that recurred to cut short his 2020 season. He has made just 11 appearances for Sale since joining the team in 2019.
Doubt over De Jager’s availability follows news that explosive Bok and Munster second row RG Snyman is making good progress in his recovery from an ACL knee injury suffered in August last year.
Other lock options available to Bok coach Jacques Nienaber include, Eben Etzebeth, who was set to pack down in Toulon’s second row at Leinster on Friday before that match was cancelled, and Franco Mostert, currently on duty for Honda Heat in Japan’s top league.