Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee will be without the services of flank Marcell Coetzee for the home three-Test series in June against France.
Coetzee, 25, now plying his trade with Ulster in Ireland, was injured in their Pro12
victory over Zebre earlier this month.
According to the BBC website, it was initially feared that
Coetzee had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, but the diagnosis was
not as serious as feared although a cartilage tear will
sideline him for four months.
"It really is fantastic news - I think most people were fearing the worst," said Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss.
Coetzee, who has been capped 28 times for the Springboks, has been a standout star for his new team after leaving the Sharks at the end of 2016.
"He has had a tremendous impact since he
joined the club, not only on the pitch, but also on the training paddock
with his huge work ethic and infectious positive attitude," added Kiss.
"It's a great boost for the club, the supporters and most
importantly Marcell himself, that we will see him back in an Ulster
jersey at the start of next season.
"I have spoken to Marcell and
he's really pleased with the prognosis. I know from the way he faced the
challenge of his previous rehab that he will be back even better than
The Boks and France will clash at in the first Test at Loftus Versfeld on June 10, followed by matches in Durban (June 17) and Johannesburg (June 24).