Cape Town - Stormers wing Bryan Habana has been ruled out of rugby for at least 10 weeks with a knee injury.
Habana was forced to leave the field in the 56th minute of the Stormers' 36-34
win against the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday,
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said that was a conservative estimate and that scans would reveal more, confirming that the star wing had torn the medial collateral ligament (MCL), which is one of the four major ligaments of the knee.
"Bryan's done his MCL (in his left knee) and, conservatively, he could be out for ten weeks. He could be back after seven weeks... but conservatively I'd say it's 10 (weeks) for now," said Coetzee.
"When you lose a Springbok and a quality player like Bryan it's never an ideal situation, but we're getting Jaco Taute back and Gerhard van den Heever played very, very well when he came on, and Gio Aplon played just as well so we have enough replacements there.
"We wish Bryan well for a speedy recovery and when he returns he'll be back in the mix, but our focus is fully on the replacements now," said Coetzee.
Should his 10-week layoff be confirmed, Habana is expected to return in time for the Stormers' home match against the Reds on May 25.
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Bryan Habana lies in agony (Gallo Images)