South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth will miss next month’s Tests against Wales and Scotland after being told he needs more time to recover from his long-standing injury, South African Rugby Union said.
He is the second player in as many days forced out of the June internationals after hooker Adriaan Strauss was suspended after being cited for foul play in Super Rugby last weekend.
It extends the injury crisis for the Springboks as they prepare for two home Tests against Wales and Scotland.
Etzebeth needs approximately three more weeks of rehabilitation before he can come back after injuring his foot at the end of last season, the union added.
Key Springbok player
“Eben’s situation is a major setback as he’s been one of our best players in the last two seasons,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer in a statement.
Etzebeth was one of 10 players who took no or little part in the field sessions at the three-day Springbok training camp in Durban.
“A final decision on the involvement of all the injured players will be taken later this week, before we announce the final squad for the tests on Saturday,” added Meyer.
Other players out of contention for the three Tests include Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, who has a knee injury.