South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth is unlikely to play Super Rugby this season after suffering an injury setback.
Stormers forward Etzebeth has not played since suffering a shoulder injury in his country’s clash with Wales in November.
The Springboks beat England 2-1 in a three-Test series this month and have the Rugby Championship, which starts in August, on the horizon.
However, should Etzebeth recover in time to contest their opener with Argentina, he is unlikely to do so with any Super Rugby matches under his belt.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said ahead of their penultimate Super Rugby clash of the campaign with Jaguares: “He [Etzebeth] had a bit of a setback two weeks ago in training.
“He did a bit of damage to his back, so that set him back a week, which affected this week.
“Hopefully he has a great week training with the [Western] Province side back at home and we can look at him again from a selection point of view for next week against the Sharks.
“Every time he has a little bit of a setback and obviously it affects his return to play. We can’t really put a time to it, it is a big injury he is coming back from.
“We would obviously like to have him in the mix, but I don’t know where we sit at the moment. We will have to have a look at him again when we get back.
“I don’t think it is looking promising that he is going to be playing Super Rugby this year with only one game left [after this week].”
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