Cape Town – The Springboks have a fresh injury concern with the news that Bulls centre Jan Serfontein is likely to be ruled out of the three-match Test series against Ireland.
Bok coach Allister Coetzee confirmed the news in Stellenbosch on Friday as the squad wrapped up their week-long camp.
Serfontein experienced a pain in his wrist during the week and scans on Friday revealed a fracture.
He is being sent back to Pretoria this weekend where he will see a specialist, but Coetzee did not seem too positive about the prospects of Serfontein recovering in time for the Cape Town Test on June 11.
He faces the prospect of surgery, which would result in “three or four months” out of action.
Should he be declared unavailable, as expected, he will not be replaced in the squad.
“At this point in time it looks like Jan Serfontein could be unavailable for a while,” said Coetzee.
“We’re covered with what we have at the moment. We won’t make any rash decisions. JP Pietersen can play there and Pat Lambie can play there … I’m not saying that’s where we’re going but there is enough cover.
“Losing a player like Jan Serfontein is a bit of a setback. You would like to have your best players available but this is an opportunity for some other players.”
Serfontein has been one of the form South African centres in Super Rugby this season and his likely withdrawal would open the door on a Damian de Allende/Lionel Mapoe midfield combination.
There was good news from Coetzee on the Elton Jantjies front on Friday, with Coetzee saying that he expected the Lions flyhalf to be available on June 11.
Injured lock Pieter-Steph du Toit, meanwhile, is making steady progress following his hamstring injury and could play some part in the series.