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Injured Bulls skipper De Jager to miss Super Rugby season

Originally, the forward was expected to be out of action for only two weeks after being forced to leave the field during a loss to the Jaguares in Argentina.

FILE: Lood de Jager. Picture: Twitter/@BlueBullsRugby

JOHANNESBURG - A shoulder injury will sideline Bulls captain Lood de Jager for the rest of the Super Rugby season, the Pretoria-based franchise said on Monday.

Originally, the forward was expected to be out of action for only two weeks after being forced to leave the field during a loss to the Jaguares in Argentina.

However, the injury proved more serious and he will have surgery on Tuesday and be out of action at least until the end of June.

"Lood will return only at the end of the Super Rugby season," confirmed Bulls doctor Herman Rossouw.

The Super Rugby season ends on 6 July.

The prolonged absence of De Jager, 26, is a major setback for three-time former champions the Bulls, who have won two of their three Super Rugby matches this season.

But Rassie Erasmus was a relieved South Africa coach after reports on Monday said the De Jager injury would also rule him out of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan which starts in September

De Jager has won 38 Test caps and will be a strong contender for a Springboks starting place as they seek a third world title after triumphs in 1995 and 2007.

The South African Test season begins on 20 July with a Rugby Championship match against Australia at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.