It will be another three weeks before he will be ready
The Free State Cheetahs will be without several key players, including stalwart Heinrich Brüssow, when they get their Currie Cup campaign underway.
The Cheetahs tackle the defending champions, the Lions, in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Backline coach Hawies Fourie told this website that a number of their long-term injury concerns - players who missed a chunk of the Super Rugby competition - will remain on the sideline for the foreseeable future.
These include No.8 Philip van der Walt (foot), Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen (neck), flyhalf Johann Goosen (shoulder), wing Rayno Benjamin (shoulder) and the Bok flank, Brussow, (knee).
"None of them are expected to be back before the end of the month," Fourie told this website.
He confirmed that Brussow injured the same knee that saw him miss most of the 2010 season and required surgery on two separate occasions.
Brussow, after surprisingly missing out on Bok selection for the June Tests against England, limped off at half-time of the Cheetahs' final Super Rugby outing against the Sharks in Durban last month.
While it was the same knee which put him out of the game for a year in 2010, Fourie said the 20-Test Bok will be back next month.
"It is not as serious as last time, but it will be another three weeks before he will be ready," Fourie said of the openside specialist, who has had a rough time with injuries.
Early in March 2010 Brüssow's career suffered a huge blow when he injured his cruciate knee-ligament in a Super 14 game against the Hurricanes, which kept him from international rugby till August 2011. Although he returned for the Cheetahs in the 2011 Super Rugby season, Brussow missed selection in the initial stages of the international season. Brussow only came in for the third Test, against eventual champions Australia, where he played for a short stint from the bench.
He was very prominent in the Boks' World Cup campaign till a cheap shot from Wallaby lock Dan Vickerman ended his campaign in the early stages of the contentious 9-11 quarterfinal loss to Australia.
After missing the latter rounds of the Currie Cup competition with the rib injury, he worked his way back to fitness, only to miss out on selection for the Tests against England.
Against the Sharks he was in good form, which saw the Cheetahs in a surprise 15-6 lead at the half-time break. However, his departure opened the game up and the Sharks raced clear to a comfortable win - eventually going all the way to the Final.
The Cheetahs will also be without regular captain Adriaan Strauss this week, as he is on Springboks duty.
And veteran prop WP Nel has headed to Scotland to continue his career abroad.
Fourie admitted that the high number of injuries will make life unpleasant for the Cheetahs in the revamped six-team Currie Cup competition.
"It is much tougher," he said, adding: "The competition is much shorter, just 10 games, so you simply can't afford to be off your game just once.
"We have also lost a number of quality players to injury ... players who make a huge difference to the team.
"Also, a number of players returned to Griquas, like Willie Roux - who had an outstanding season.
"As always Free State will start with a young team and a number of new players coming into the mix - it won't be easy."
Fourie said Griquas - despite not being a Super Rugby franchise - could make life very unpleasant for the bigger outfits.
"They [Griquas] will have a good team this year, so they [as the sixth team, outside the Super Rugby franchises] will be very tough ... especially in Kimberley."
By Jan de Koning