Bulls lock Fudge Mabeta will miss the 2012 Super Rugby campaign after being injured in a car accident.
Mabeta will be out of action for at least six to eight months, after rupturing a knee ligament and will be operated upon later this month, team doctor Org Strauss confirmed on Wednesday.
The Bulls re-assembled in Pretoria earlier in the day after the Christmas break and Mabeta was the obvious casualty during medical check-ups.
A host of players are at various degrees of recovery and will join the fray as soon as allowed by Strauss.
Juandré Kruger (10 days), Bjorn Basson (14 days), Gerrit-Jan van Velze and Wesley Dunlop (seven days) will join sooner rather than later, while the likes of Dewald Potgieter, Francois Venter, Warwick Tecklenburg and Wynand Olivier are amongst those that will return to full training by next month.
Rossouw de Klerk has already being ruled out for the biggest part of the Super Rugby season following surgery to his foot and Morné Mellett is expected to be fit for selection in another six weeks.
Commenting on the resumption of their preparations, Bulls captain Pierre Spies indicated that the players are rearing to go.
“We have big plans and big dreams for 2012. The Bulls have established a proud record in Super Rugby in recent seasons and that acts as a great motivating factor. Everybody is keen to go,” Spies said.
The Bulls will play warm-up matches in early February against the Kings (February 4) in Port Elizabeth and the Cheetahs (February 11) in Polokwane.
They open their Super Rugby campaign against the Sharks in Pretoria on February 24.
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