Cape Town - Irish club Ulster have pledged their support for Springbok flank Marcell Coetzee despite another injury setback.
It was revealed late last week the 26-year-old would be sidelined for nine months after suffering a recurring knee problem.
Coetzee has played just five times for Ulster since joining them in 2016.
He started against the Cheetahs in their PRO14 opener this season, before the injury curse struck again.
"It has been tough for Marcell and we have tried to get the best result for him possible," Ulster’s director of rugby Les Kiss told BBC Sport.
"It has ended up with surgery and he will not be around for the next eight or nine months in terms of playing. But we will stick by him - he is here and he has a contract with us. At this stage we are not looking at bringing someone into the squad to replace him."
Coetzee, who represented the Sharks between 2011 and 2016, boasts 28 Test caps for the Springboks.