Injury update: Schalk Burger is one of several senior Springboks who will not feature in the away leg of the Tri-Nations, which takes place later this month.
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It was confirmed that Burger had undergone surgery to rectify the dislocated thumb he injured in the Stormers 10-29 loss to the Crusaders in a Super Rugby semifinal match at the weekend.
Burger will be sidelined for six to eight weeks, which means he is likely to miss the entire Tri-Nations series.
However, the Stormers' medical staff said there is no risk of the veteran loose forward missing the World Cup in New Zealand later this year.
Burger will report for duty at a Springbok training camp in Cape Town this week, where South Africa's 49-man preliminary World Cup squad will all undergo testing.
It has been reported that Bok coach Peter de Villiers is expected to rest a number of his senior squad members for the away leg to New Zealand.
Those who stay behind when the Boks depart for Australia later this month will be subjected to stern fitness regimes under the guidance of conditioning guru Derick Coetzee.
South Africa open their Tri-Nations account against Australia in Sydney on July 23. They then face New Zealand in Wellington a week later.
It is not certain which senior players will be rested, but some reports suggested Bok captain John Smit will be in charge on the tour to Australasia, as he has not played enough at hooker this year.
It may mean that Bismarck du Plessis, who start at hooker most often for the Sharks, could remain behind for 'conditioning'.
Another senior player who could feature on tour, after missing most of the season through injury, is flank Heinrich Brüssow. Even though he made his comeback for the Cheetahs after senior knee surgery last year, he suffered a hamstring injury shortly afterwards. He is in dire need of game time.
Juan Smith, the other injured Cheetah, will not be fit in time for the away leg of the Tri-Nations, but he remains hopeful of making the final World Cup squad.
Smith has just spent three weeks in Johannesburg to rehabilitate his injured Achilles tendon and is looking to start on-field training in the weeks to come. He has mainly worked on his upper body in the gym.
Other players who could be 'rested' during the away leg of the Tri-Nations include Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Victor Matfield, Gurthrö Steenkamp and Morné Steyn.
The Springbok squad for the first two Tests of the Tri-Nations Series will be named next Saturday, July 9.
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