Palmerston North - Argentina vice captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup and will require surgery after seriously injuring his left knee in the Pumas' 13-12 win over Wellington on the weekend.
Argentina's team spokesman said the veteran backrower would remain with the squad in New Zealand ahead of Sunday's Pool B match against Georgia, which the Pumas must win to remain in quarterfinal contention.
Lobbe, who is contracted to Toulon, is likely to undergo surgery in France.
Argentina has had a wretched run with injuries during the tournament, with center Gonzalo Tiesi ruled out after injuring his knee in the narrow opening loss to England.
The 29-year-old Lobbe is a key member of the backrow and has played for Argentina since 2004, accumulating more than 50 caps. He led the Pumas in their 2009 mid-year tests against England when regular captain Felipe Contepomi was unavailable with a shoulder injury.
Lobbe also led Argentina when Contepomi left the field in its opening match against England with a rib injury and in its subsequent match against Romania when Contepomi was still sidelined.
Contepomi returned to lead the Pumas to a crucial comeback win over Scotland on Sunday but Lobbe limped off before halftime after trying for several minutes to continue, despite an injured knee.
Lobbe played in England between 2006 and 2009 for the Sale Sharks and has played for Toulon since 2009. This is his second Rugby World Cup after his debut in France in 2007.
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