Pretoria - Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard has been ruled out of rugby for at least nine months after rupturing knee ligaments in training on Monday.
He will be operated on Wednesday, the Bulls confirmed via a press statement on Tuesday.
Pollard's injury came on the first day of his return to rugby and according to Bulls coach Nollis Marais, was a freak accident.
"Handre was easing back into training, his first phase of final rehab before being cleared to play and was busy with a passing drill when he injured himself. This is pretty devastating for all of us, as Handre was a key player for us. We are fortunate to have two very capable flyhalves still in our squad in Tian Schoeman and Francois Brummer. They now get the opportunity to showcase their skills and I am confident that we can still achieve our goals for the season."
Marais also confirmed that loose forward Lappies Labuschagne injured his ankle on Wednesday and will be in a race to be fit for the opening Super Rugby clash against the Stormers on February 27.
"As things stand, he will not be able to train for at least two weeks," Marais said.
"We hope to have him back on the field for the opening match, but will be guided by our medical staff in that regard,” according to Marais.