Bulls utility back, Lionel Cronjé, has been ruled out of the remainder of the Super Rugby competition through injury.
The 22-year-old Bulls playmaker suffered a pectoral muscle tear in his chest and will undergo an operation later in the week.
He injured himself on Friday while playing for the Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup side in a friendly match against the Sharks XV.
"Lionel will be operated on this week and he will be out of action for at least six months. I cannot see him playing Super Rugby this year," Bulls team doctor Org Strauss said.
Cronjé played for the Stormers in 2011 and had his season there disrupted when he tore knee ligaments. He has recovered well from that injury in Pretoria and was due to make his Bulls debut in 2012.
"It is a big set-back to us for sure," Bulls coach Frans Ludeke admitted.
"Lionel was part of our plans and would have been very valuable for our tour to Australasia in a couple of weeks, because he is so versatile. It is a real pity for Lionel as well, as he has worked really hard to get back to his best following his knee injury."
A replacement will be named later if deemed necessary.
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