Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth will miss the start of the 2014 Super Rugby season due to an injury he sustained playing for the Springboks against France.
Etzebeth sustained a serious foot injury whilst on Springbok duty last weekend and will undergo surgery on Monday the 2nd of December.
The Stormers have released a press statement which says that the specialist expects Etzebeth to be out of action for a minimum of 16 to 18 weeks.
"It's very unfortunate to again start a new Super Rugby season without Eben Etzebeth," Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee said in the release.
"However, it opens up an opportunity for other players to step up and take the gap in Eben's absence.
"De Kock Steenkamp, Rynhardt Elstadt and Michael Rhodes have plenty of Super Rugby experience already, whilst our younger training squad members like Tazz Fuzani, Ruan Botha and Jean Kleyn will have to step up," added Coetzee.
"Unfortunately, a young player like Gerbrandt Grobler (ankle) will still be out of action for some time (yet), but, of course, we have signed a Test lock with plenty of experience in the form of Manuel Carizza, who will arrive here in January 2014."
He has also played 23 Tests for the Springboks since 2012.
Meanwhile Coetzee said that Gerbrandt Grobler (ankle) would still be out of action for some time, but they had signed experienced Test lock, Manuel Carizza, who was expected to arrive in January 2014.