Cheetahs captain Juan Smith will miss the rest of the Super 15 after heel surgery but he’s expected to be available for the Rugby World Cup in September.
Smith partially tore his Achilles’ tendon on Friday just moments into the Super 15 match against the Bulls.
The flanker underwent surgery on Monday which was successful, said Cheetahs doctor Ian Morris.
Smith, who helped South Africa win the 2007 World Cup, will not be able to exercise for two months but should be ready to play in August.
“We are planning on having him fit for the World Cup,” Morris said. “There is definitely a chance that he can recover in time. If everything goes well, six months is not an unreasonable recovery period.
“He will be able to play in August and the World Cup begins in September.”
Capped 69 times since 2003, Smith will still be in a race to be fit in time for selection of the squad to defend the title in New Zealand.
The Springboks’ tournament opener is against Wales on September 11. — Sapa-AP