The Vodacom Bulls have been rocked by the news that their star flyhalf Handre Pollard injured his ankle on Thursday morning, meaning he is likely to miss at least 8-10 weeks of rugby.

Pollard, who recently returned to action after a horror shoulder and knee injury combo that saw him miss the 2016 season, was steadily working his way back into form and had improved significantly since the start of the season.

Pollard was due to see a specialist on Thursday afternoon, but has already been ruled out of the weekend Vodacom Super Rugby game against the Toyota Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld.

Tian Schoeman will start the match with Francois Brummer on the bench.

Pollard’s injury is also a massive setback for the Springboks, as he was likely to be in Allister Coetzee’s squad for the three Test matches against France in June.

While he hasn’t been ruled out already, the initial diagnoses of 8-10 weeks puts him on the edge of the French tests, and it is likely he will be cutting it too close to be able to play.

Coupled with the injury to Lions midfielder Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Coetzee has lost two of his choices in a matter of hours and this doesn’t bode well for the road ahead for the Springbok coach.

More detail on Pollard’s injury will be known after he has consulted the specialist.