Springbok and Toulon winger Cheslin Kolbe has had surgery on a broken thumb, putting his participation in South Africa’s three-Test series against Wales in July in doubt.
The 28-year-old World Cup winner sustained the injury in an European Challenge Cup match against Treviso last weekend.
Kolbe has been sidelined for “several weeks” according to AFP.
Broken thumbs normally take between six and 12 weeks to heal, depending on the severity of the injury, putting Kolbe at risk of missing the Wales Tests.
The three Test series starts on 2 July in Pretoria. The other Tests on 9 and 16 July are scheduled for Bloemfontein and Cape Town.
According to AFP, Kolbe underwent a “successful” operation Wednesday, but will be “kept out of action for several weeks”, the club said in a statement.
Kolbe will miss out on the showdown with his former club Toulouse on Saturday, a match that has been moved to a 60,000 sell-out Stade Velodrome in Marseille.
He will also be a bystander as Toulon battle to make the top six play-off places in the Top 14. They currently sit ninth on 51 points, five points from Racing 92 in sixth.
The last remaining Top 14 matches of the regulation season after Toulouse are against Bordeaux-Begles, Pau and Racing, while Toulon also take on London Irish in the quarter-final of the Challenge Cup on May 8.