Spies ruled out of Rugby Championship
South Africa's injury problems have worsened after Pierre Spies was ruled out of the entire Rugby Championship campaign.
The 27-year-old suffered an injury to his left ring finger during the Bulls' Super 15 campaign last month but had initially been given the all-clear to take his place in the side for the revamped southern hemisphere competition. But further scans have revealed that the fracture has not healed properly and he now faces three months on the sidelines, which will rule him out of the whole tournament. Springboks team doctor Craig Roberts has revealed that the talented back-row star will need to go under the surgeon's knife to correct the problem. "On review and further investigation, including a CT scan and assessment by a hand specialist in Cape Town, it was found that Pierre had a fracture into the joint," he told the South Africa Rugby Union website. "Surgical correction is needed in order to prevent permanent damage. The usual rehabilitation time for these kinds of injuries is eight to 12 weeks." The latest news is another blow to the Springboks' chances, as they will already be without injured forwards Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Heinrich Brussow.