Cape Town - Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard has received another setback in his fight for fitness after undergoing surgery this week.
According to Netwerk24, this latest surgery operation saw "anchors" removed from Pollard's ankle that had been supporting his injured ligaments.
Bulls team doctor Herman Rossouw said the operation was a success and that it was now a matter of Pollard getting his conditioning levels up to a point where he can play again.
There is currently no time frame, but Pollard is not expected to have recovered in time to feature in the August 8 Rugby Championship opener against Argentina in Port Elizabeth.
It means that Bok coach Allister Coetzee will go into that Test with Elton Jantjies as his No 10, while Frans Steyn is once again the likely cover from the bench.
Other options that Coetzee has come in the form of Lionel Cronje and Curwin Bosch.
Patrick Lambie, meanwhile, is not expected to feature in the Rugby Championship at all as he continues his recovery from concussion.