A cheap shot from Hurricanes hooker Ricky Riccitelli may result in a lengthy lay-off from Stormers and Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi.
Kolisi could miss six weeks of the Super Rugby season after being injured in the Stormers 27-0 shut-out of the New Zealand visitors at Newlands on Saturday.
The loose forward hurt his knee after being tackled late by Riccitelli in an off-the-ball incident.
Stormers coach John Dobson, who made a winning Super Rugby debut with the four tries to zero victory, said Kolisi would definitely miss a home fixture against the Bulls next Saturday.
“Siya could be out for six weeks,” Dobson told a post-match media briefing.
“He took a knock to the knee and a scan will reveal how serious the injury is.
“It is a hell of a blow losing your captain midway through the first half of your opening match.
“Siya is an inspirational leader and means so much to the team.”
Kolisi became the first black Test captain of the Springboks in June 2018, leading them to a 42-39 win over England in Johannesburg after trailing by 21 points.
He went on to skipper South Africa to a 20-point triumph against England in the World Cup Final in Japan last year.
Kolisi was not the Stormers’ only casualty in the Super Rugby season opener with a fellow World Cup winner, hooker Bongi Mbonambi, retiring injured early in the second half.
“Bongi damaged a hamstring and will also have a scan.
“I doubt if he will be available for our match with the Bulls,” said Dobson.
The Springboks’ second choice scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies starred for the Stormers, who went top of the combined standings after the bonus-point victory.