DHL Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth sustained a serious foot injury whilst on Springbok duty last weekend and will undergo surgery on Monday, December 2.
At this point in time, the specialist’s assessment is that Etzebeth will be out of action for a minimum of 16 to 18 weeks.
“It’s very unfortunate to again start a new Vodacom Super Rugby season without Eben Etzebeth,” DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee told www.thestormers.com.
“However, it opens up an opportunity for other players to step up and take the gap in Eben’s absence.
“De Kock Steenkamp, Rynhardt Elstadt and Michael Rhodes have plenty of Super Rugby experience already, whilst our younger training squad members like Tazz Fuzani, Ruan Botha and Jean Kleyn will have to step up,” added Coetzee.
“Unfortunately, a young player like Gerbrandt Grobler (ankle) will still be out of action for some time (yet), but, of course, we have signed a Test lock with plenty of experience in the form of Manuel Carizza, who will arrive here in January 2014.”
Etzebeth, 22, has made 21 Super Rugby appearances for the DHL Stormers since his debut in 2012, as well as winning six caps for DHL WP. He has also played 23 Tests for the Springboks since 2012.