Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus on Thursday insisted there was nothing untoward about the withdrawal of midfielder Frans Steyn and hooker Bismarck du Plessis.
Both players were on Wednesday ruled out of South Africa's three-Test series against England with what Erasmus described as "niggles" on Thursday.
That came after the duo's French club, Montpellier, conducted their own medical examination of the players following last Saturday's French Top14 final against Castres.
The fact that Steyn and Du Plessis came through the Top14 final unscathed led to some doubts whether they were in fact injured.
French clubs also have a history of not willingly releasing their players for international duty but Erasmus gave the assurance that the players were in fact injured.
“They're struggling with small niggles and have to undergo further scans before the full extent (of the injuries) can be made public,” Erasmus said in Johannesburg on Thursday, as quoted by Netwerk24.
Erasmus said the duo would have added vital experience to the squad.
“With the World Cup lying ahead, we also wanted to see where they’re at from a fitness perspective. But with the time it’s going to take for them to get medical clearances to come here, it’s not worth it anymore.
“They would only have arrived next week and by then we would be preparing for the second Test. I’d rather reward the guys who are here.
“Unfortunately, it’s taken too long for them to come. There’s not clarity regarding their injuries, so we rather go ahead without them.”
Erasmus added that he spoke to both players who assured him that they were injured.
“They are paid by Montpellier and the club wants to make sure they are fit before their new season starts. I have no doubts about the players’ commitment. They are eager to play for the Boks.”
Saturday's Test at Ellis Park is scheduled for 17:05.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane/Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw/Thomas du Toit, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Warrick Gelant
15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Denny Solomona