Springboks' lock Etzebeth out for 'many weeks' after finger surgery

Etzebeth, 29, last played in a heavy Top 14 defeat away to Lyon on March 27.

FILE: South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth gestures during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Italy at the Shizuoka Stadium Ecop in Shizuoka on 4 October 2019. Picture: AFP

TOULON, France - South Africa's Rugby World Cup winner Eben Etzebeth will be sidelined for "many weeks" after an operation on a finger injury suffered in training last week, his French club Toulon said on Tuesday.

Etzebeth, 29, last played in a heavy Top 14 defeat away to Lyon on March 27.

His club have not played since. Their European Champions Cup last-16 match away to Leinster on April 2 was cancelled because of a COVID-19 case in the Toulon squad.

"Eben Etzebeth has undergone surgery in the last few days." the three-time European champions said.

The cub said that another lock Matthias Halagahu also faces a spell on the sidelines with a shoulder issue.

"The two Toulon second-rows will be absent for many weeks," they added.

Toulon's continued coronavirus issues have forced the postponement of their game at Montpellier on Saturday.

They are seventh in the Top 14, behind Lyon in the final playoff spot on points difference. There are six games of the regular season to play.

A third Toulon lock, former Samoa under-20 international Brian Alainu'uese, is also out injured, RMC Sport reported, adding that the club are trying to bring an additional player into their squad.

Etzebeth's Springboks are set to host the British and Irish Lions this summer with the first Test scheduled for July 3.

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