Bok captain's World Cup hopes in doubt

Team doctor Craig Roberts said Jean de Villiers will likely be out of action for at least 8 months.

FILE: Springbok captain Jean de Villiers. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will require surgery on his injured left knee and will be in a race against time to be fit for the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015.

De Villiers suffered a dislocated kneecap in the Springboks 12-6 defeat to Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

He was forced to leave the field in the 58th minute after twisting his left knee and dislocating his knee cap.

Scans after the match revealed significant ligament damage to the knee.

The Boks captain returned to South Africa on Monday and was assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon in Cape Town who advised that he needs surgical reconstruction of the knee.

Team doctor Craig Roberts said, "We are currently consulting with the best specialists in South Africa to determine the best way to approach the surgery as there are potentially a few options available."

"At this stage it's still difficult to determine how long he will be out of action, but it would probably be at least eight months."

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said losing the captain was a massive setback as the team were just beginning to build momentum in a tough encounter against Wales.

Video: Extent of De Villiers's knee injury still unknown