Bulls captain and Springbok Lood de Jager has posted a picture of himself after surgery on Instagram.
The 26-year-old injured his shoulder in his side’s loss to the Jaguares in round two of Super Rugby this season.
Rumours had circulated about the timeframe of his absence, ranging from missing a few weeks to missing the World Cup, but his post provides a better indication.
The lock said that the recovery period was 12 weeks on his post, meaning he could theoretically be back before the end of the Super Rugby season.
However, in truth, that may be unlikely, as it may take longer to achieve match fitness.
However, if he misses the remainder of the season, he will face a rush to make it into the Springboks’ World Cup squad. While he will have the time on his hands, he will not have many games available to prove himself.
Of course, there is the Rugby Championship which he will likely be fit for, but that is a tough environment to be thrown back into after a long absence. With that being said, he already has a great reputation, which could take him a long way.
With Eben Etzebeth almost guaranteed to make Rassie Erasmus’ World Cup squad, de Jager may face competition from club teammate RG Snyman and Gloucester’s Franco Mostert to partner Etzebeth in the scrum. That is perhaps why de Jager faces a problem, as he may not have long to prove himself.
In the meantime, this is a major loss for the Bulls, who have looked impressive so far this season. Their dominant victory over last season’s finalists the Lions sent a statement to the rest of the competition last week, but the absence of their captain could prove costly. They host conference leaders the Sharks this weekend, with the possibility of topping their group with a win.
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