South African Rugby
Hougaard to miss Bulls' opener
ESPNscrum Staff
January 22, 2011
The Bulls' Francois Hougaard is tackled by the Brumbies' Stirling Mortlock and Matt Giteau, Bulls v Brumbies, Super 14, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, South Africa, February 20, 2010
Francois Hougaard was a vital member of the Bulls' Super 14 title winning team last season © Getty Images

Bulls scrum-half Francois Hougaard is set to miss the start of the new Super Rugby season after picking up a stress fracture in his foot.

The 22-year-old, who has won eight caps for South Africa after his debut against Australia last season, suffered the injury during the Bulls' preparations for the new season and is now unlikely to be fit for their opening fixture against the Lions on February 19 in Johannesburg. The versatile youngster has been given a four-week recovery prognosis.

"Francois experienced some pain in his foot on Monday and it became worse later in the week. A scan revealed the fracture," team doctor Org Strauss confirmed.

Hougaard played an integral role as the Bulls regained the Super 14 title last season, beating the Stormers in the final.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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