South African Rugby
Du Preez blow to rock Springboks
June 3, 2010
Fourie du Preez is facing surgery and a long lay-off © Getty Images
Fourie du Preez looks set to miss the Springboks' entire Test season after it was confirmed that he requires surgery on a long-standing shoulder injury.
The Bulls scrum-half, who picked up his third Super 14 title with victory over the Stormers last weekend, has been playing through the pain barrier this season and with the 2011 Rugby World Cup in mind is set to go under the knife once he has discussed the problem with South Africa coach Peter De Villiers.
According to Bulls doctor Org Strauss the surgery will rule the World Cup-winner out for at least six months, ending his hopes of playing in the Boks' Tri-Nations defence and Grand Slam tour.
"The specialist's opinion is that it needs to be done immediately as there is a tear in the shoulder muscle that won't heal if he continues playing," Strauss told Keo.co.za. "We're looking at next Tuesday as the date for the surgery, and he would be out for at least six months.
"Fourie wants to play, but he has also been in pain for a long time now and realises the urgent need to have the procedure. He is so good that he's managed to excel while carrying an injury of this nature but it's not in his best interests to be playing. He'll discuss the issue with Peter [De Villiers] and agree on a way forward but it seems likely that he won't play again this year."
The leading candidates to deputise for du Preez are the Sharks' Ruan Pienaar and the Stormers' Ricky Januarie, who start as a halfback partnership as the Springboks take on Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.