Gary Botha has joined the list of injured Springboks after being ruled out for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury.
The Bulls hooker had treatment on the injury in Pretoria on Thursday to repair ligaments.
No surgery was required, but the 28-year-old will be forced to spend the next two months on the sidelines.
Botha has been outstanding for the Loftus Versfeld club since returning from Harlequins at the start of the year, helping them win the Super 14 title.
Even though he won the last of his 12 Springbok caps at the 2007 World Cup, he may have been considered for their year-end tour to Europe when Peter de Villiers is expected to rest some of his more experienced players.
Bulls team doctor, Org Strauss, said: "He will be wearing a moon boot for the next couple of weeks, but because there was no operation, Gary should be back to play in the new year."
Coach Frans Ludeke added: "It is very unfortunate to lose a world-class player like Gary at this stage of the season.
"He brings leadership and valuable experience to our squad and will be missed.
"We are very fortunate to have two international players left in that position in Chiliboy Ralepelle and Bandise Maku and we expect them to deliver the goods for us."