Springbok star Bryan Habana has been ruled out for up to a month with a broken hand.
The former IRB World Player of the Year sustained the injury in the Bulls 16-9 Super 14 win over the Lions on Saturday and is expected to be sidelined until the end of March.
Habana left the field at Cocoa Cola Park in Johannesburg after 55 minutes of the Bulls’ third straight win and is expected to miss the games against the Stormers and the Hurricanes.
The Bulls’ coaching team are hopeful that their World Cup winning wing could be back in action for the away trip to the Highlanders on March 28 as the 2007 Super 14 champions face the second of five successive away fixtures in Australasia.
Although the injury is a blow to the Bulls after an extremely promising start to the season, Springbok head coach Peter de Villiers will be pleased that the injury is not more serious.
If Habana does return later this month as expected, he will still have more than two-and-a-half months worth of game time to get back to his best before the Boks take on the Lions in the first Test on June 20.