Handre Pollard’s return to play is again the subject of concern as the Bulls flyhalf appears likely to miss the start of the Rugby Championship.
Pollard missed the 2016 season with knee and shoulder injuries and was then ruled out of Super Rugby after suffering ligament damage to his right ankle in April.
The 23-year-old set and missed a June comeback to Test rugby and discomfort to the injured ankle forced him back onto the surgeon’s table last week.
According to a Netwerk 24 report, Bulls team doctor Herman Rossouw confirmed that the procedure, to remove “anchors” supporting the damaged ligament, was successful.
Pollard is not expected to complete his rehabilitation and conditioning by the time the Springboks encamp in Port Elizabeth on August 8 to prepare for the Rugby Championship.
Given that Pat Lambie is set to spend the remainder of the season recovering from concussion symptoms, Bok coach Allister Coetzee has few options at the flyhalf position.
An injury to incumbent pivot Elton Jantjies could see veteran centre-cum-fullback Frans Steyn or the uncapped Lionel Cronje deployed in the No 10 jersey.
South Africa’s Rugby Championship campaign begins with Tests against Argentina in Port Elizabeth on August 19 and in Salta the following week.