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South African Rugby
Springboks suffer Du Plessis blow
ESPN Staff
August 18, 2012
Bismarck du Plessis faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Bismarck du Plessis
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Teams: South Africa

The Springboks have been hit with a massive blow following the news that hooker Bismarck du Plessis is likely to miss the rest of 2012 due to a knee injury sustained during their 27-6 win over Argentina on Saturday.

The hooker left the field in the fourth minute of the game on a stretcher and was replaced by Adriaan Strauss. South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer told reporters in the aftermath of the match that Du Plessis is likely to be out for between six and seven months.

The Springboks travel to Argentina on Sunday but Du Plessis will not be on the plane. The Boks will call up a replacement in the next day or so, according to Meyer.

With Chiliboy Ralepelle sidelined, Strauss is likely to start against the Pumas with Tiaan Liebenberg in reserve. Despite the pair of injuries, Meyer said that the management "will not panic".

Meyer said of the injuiry: "He went for a scan and it appears he has torn ligaments. I don't want to pre-empt anything before the doctors have had their final say but for the type of injury he has players are normally out for seven to eight months."

The Boks had to play without Du Plessis for the bulk of the match and Meyer admitted that they missed their vice-captain. "Bismarck is excellent at protecting the ball and we missed that but his absence was felt for more than just his ball retention skills," Meyer said. "We have a very young pack and Bismarck was important for his leadership and his experience. He is also an excellent ball stealer and we missed that too."

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