Juan de Jongh, DHL Western Province captain who led the WP side to Currie Cup victory in the 2014 season has been ruled out of the 2015 season due to a knee injury. He is expected to be out of action for eight to 10 weeks.
Skipper de Jongh suffered a medical collateral ligament tear 49 minutes into the game on Saturday against the Free State Cheetahs.
What is a medical collateral ligament (MCL) tear?
The MCL can be sprained or torn. The MCL is a band of tissue on the inside of your knee which connects your thighbone to the bone of your lower leg and keeps the knee from bending inward.
Read: Rugby knee injuries
The MCL can get hurt during activities that involve bending, twisting, or a quick change of direction. For example, the MCL can be injured in soccer or rugby when the outside of the knee is hit. This type of injury can also occur in other sports with lots of stop-and-go movements, jumping, or weaving.
Most MCL injuries can be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medicine. Crutches and a brace that protects but allows for some movement of the knee may be necessary. Gentle movement will help to heal the injury. If the tear is bad surgery may be required.
Moderate injuries usually require about a month to heal. A hinged knee brace may be necessary and the patient needs to limit the amount of weight placed on the leg.
Nizaam Carr to take over
John Dobson, DHL WP head coach said: "We are fortunate to have a lot of options at centre, but a guy like Juan will leave a big hole given his experience and defensive abilities.
"It is unclear whether de Jongh will be fit enough to continue during the playoffs in October," he said.
Nizaam Carr is to take over the captaincy role until de Jongh returns.