But Springbok lock Bakkies Botha will be able to play in this weekend's Super 14 semi-final in Pretoria against the reigning champions, the Crusaders, after having his case thrown out by a disciplinary committee this week.
Botha was accused of striking Sharks No 8 Ryan Kankowski, but the disciplinary body ruled that he had merely pushed his opponent and had done so in front of the referee.
But while Botha can now concentrate on helping the Bulls reach the final for the second time in three seasons, Nel will have to deal with the double frustration of missing this weekend's game against the Kiwi champions and possibly missing out on selection to face the Lions.
One of the form centres in South Africa this season, Nel's strong defensive qualities are admired and feared in equal measure throughout the Super 14. His dangerous tackle on Sharks full back Stefan Terblanche earned him a yellow card in the game - and then a four week ban.
Even though the player pleaded not guilty to the charge, and his defence team argued strongly that the tackle on Terblanche was not dangerous, the Judicial Officer ruled that the tackle from Nel was dangerous.
His ban means he will be unable to play up to and including 13 June. He has the right to appeal against the suspension.