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Etzebeth latest casualty for injured-hampered Springboks

شعار Reuters Reuters 28/05/2014

CAPE TOWN - South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth will miss next month’s tests against Wales and Scotland after being told he needs more time to recover from his long-standing injury, South African Rugby Union said on Wednesday.

He is the second player in as many days forced out of the June internationals after hooker Adriaan Strauss was suspended after being cited for foul play in Super Rugby last weekend.

It extends the injury crisis for the Springboks as they prepare for two home tests against Wales and one against Scotland.

Etzebeth needs approximately three more weeks of rehabilitation before he can come back after injuring his foot at the end of last season, the union added.

"Eben’s situation is a major setback as he’s been one of our best players in the last two seasons," said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer in a statement.

"We’re continually monitoring his injury, because he really wants to play for the Springboks next month. However, he is still young and has a highly promising career ahead and his welfare is the most important to us."

Etzebeth was one of 10 players who took no or little part in the field sessions at the three-day Springbok training camp in Durban from Monday to Wednesday.

"A final decision on the involvement of all the injured players will be taken later this week, before we announce the final squad for the tests on Saturday," added Meyer.

Other players out of contention for the three tests include Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, who has a knee injury.

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