DHL Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth will miss the start of his team's 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign, after being ruled out of action for six to eight weeks.
Etzebeth limped off in the first half of team's 57-0 pre-season win over the Regent Boland Cavaliers on Saturday and a subsequent scan revealed that he tore ligaments in his left ankle after landing awkwardly at a line-out.
The Springbok lock will be out of action for a minimum of six weeks and DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said: "It's unfortunate for the team and Eben, but like I said after the match yesterday injuries are part and parcel of the game.
"We are fortunate to have players in our squad who can step in and fill that role and that's our focus for now - to find a player to fill that No.4 lock role.
"At the same time, however, our medical team will also ensure that Eben recovers well and comes back strongly for the DHL Stormers."