Johannesburg – South African flyhalf Handre Pollard faces “several months” on the sidelines after rupturing his interior cruciate ligaments while playing for French Top14 side Montpellier on Friday.
The 2019 World Cup winner was carried off the field on a stretcher during the 41-17 loss to Racing 92 and scans have now revealed the severity of the injury.
“The club confirms the absence for several months of Handre Pollard, victim of a ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments. We wish him a quick recovery,” said Montpellier in a statement on Monday.
The injury rules the first-choice Bok flyhalf out of the Rugby Championship that is scheduled to be played in Australia from November 7 to December 12, and will significantly cut his preparation time for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa that starts next July.
Pollard’s control at flyhalf is key to the Boks’ game-plan but his injury will provide his deputy in the team, Elton Jantjies, a chance to stake a claim for the number 10 jersey against the lions.
This is the second time that Pollard has been sidelined with a serious knee injury, having missed the entire 2016 season with a similar complaint.