Botha suffered a knee injury similar to the one that sidelined him for six month last year, in the Bulls’ 19-26 pre-season loss to the Stormers in Polokwane at the weekend. Botha, who played his first game since last year’s injury, left the field with an ACL injury soon after he scored his team’s third try against the Stormers.
Botha confirmed the bad news on his personal twitter page.
“News on the knee: Same thing as last time, the next six months will be mostly rehab,” he said on twitter
The injury, which will see Botha miss most of the 2014 Super Rugby season, came in his first match back after injuring the same knee only minutes into his second Test for the Springboks against Scotland in Nelspruit in June last year, which ruled him out of the rest of the 2013 season.
Botha suffered a similar injury last year in , which kept him out of the game for the rest of the year. The match in Polokwane marked the return to action, after two years in retirement, by Victor Matfield. However, the loss and injury setback of Botha have overshadowed the record-breaking Bok lock’s big comeback. Botha was taken for scans in Pretoria, which confirmed the diagnosis of an injury to his anterior cruciate ligaments.
It will require surgical correction, to be done in Pretoria next week Tuesday.
“Arno was pivotal for our Super Rugby campaign during 2014, He was very influential in his time on the field against the Stormers before his injury and it was great to see him return to his best form after his previous injury. We wish Arno all the best for the surgery as well as the road to recovery ahead and together with our medical and rehabilitation team we will work together to ensure Arno’s return to the field later this year.”
* In another setback Jesse Kriel, who scored a try for the Blue Bulls in their match against the Golden Lions, was ruled out for a month due to a calf injury. There was more positive news about the rest of the squad following the Polokwane match.
Deon Stegmann will miss a week of training following a groin abductor strain, while Francois Hougaard, Jurgen Visser and Dean Greyling will return to training on Tuesday. Marvin Orie (four weeks, leg fracture) and Morné Mellett (two weeks, back) are still out of action.