It is one of those freakish things that happens
Springbok Johan Goosen will undergo surgery again, after injuring his knee in a freak training ground accident.
Cheetahs team manager Eugene van Wyk told this website in an interview from the team's base in Sydney that Goosen slipped at training and damaged his cruciate ligaments in his left knee.
He will return to South Africa on Thursday, when a decision about when he will go under the knife will be made.
"It is a serious injury," Van Wyk told this website, adding that it is not the same injury as last year - when he damaged medial ligaments in the Test against New Zealand in Soweto.
Goosen, who also had to overcome a painful heel injury, had recovered from last year's surgery just in time for the start of the season and featured in all four of the Cheetahs' Super Rugby matches - defeats against the Sharks and Chiefs, to go along with wins over the Highlanders and Waratahs.
The 20-year-old flyhalf, who also missed the latter half of last year's Super Rugby season with a shoulder injury which he sustained against the Highlanders in April, was busy regaining the kind of form that saw him receive a call-up to the national team in 2012.
Van Wyk said that while the duration of his latest lay-off will only be determined once he had gone under the knife in Bloemfontein, the MRI scans taken in Sydney showed that the cruciate ligaments have been "torn off".
"It is one of those freakish things that happens," the Cheetahs manager told this website, adding that either utility Riaan Smit or Burton Francis will start at flyhalf against the Western Force on Saturday.
A final call on Goosen's replacement will be made on Tuesday and at this stage Smit is the most likely to wear the No.10 jersey, with Francis - who joined the team in Australia last week - set to play off the bench.
The latest setback looks set to leave the talented young pivot kicking his heels in frustration for another season.
Considered to be one of the brightest up-and-coming players in South Africa, Goosen made his Springbok debut against Australia in September last year. He came off the bench as replacement for Morné Steyn in the 59th minute of the game in Perth.
The following two weekends he was in the starting line-up for the Boks, but unfortunately suffered a knee injury against the All Blacks in Soweto.
* Meanwhile Van Wyk confirmed that loose forward Frans Viljoen suffered a tear in his calf and he will also return home on Thursday.
"We may fly in a loose forward, but I am waiting to hear who it will be," he added.
By Jan de Koning