South Africa captain Jean de Villiers, Marcell Coetzee and Willie le Roux will all miss next weekend’s rematch with Argentina in Buenos Aires, the South Africa Rugby Union announced on Sunday.
The trio all suffered injuries in Saturday’s historic 37-25 Rugby Championship defeat to the Pumas in Durban.
De Villiers fractured his jaw which will rule him out for up to six weeks.
Coetzee suffered a medial collateral ligament injury to his left knee which will rule him out for approximately six weeks. The injury is unrelated to the knee injury he suffered a few weeks ago in Brisbane.
Le Roux sprained his ankle early in the match against Argentina and will also not be considered for the trip to Buenos Aires.
He will undergo scans early in the week to determine the exact nature of the injury.
Several players on the way back from injury such as Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez and JP Pietersen, will be assessed on Monday before a decision on their availability for next weekend will be taken, Springobk team doctor Craig Roberts said.
Although Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Willem Alberts, Warren Whiteley and Jan Serfontein were declared fit to play last week, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer decided to give them an additional week to recover and they will be considered for selection next week.
Apart from De Villiers, Coetzee and Le Roux, other injured players who will not be considered for the trip to Buenos Aires, are Jannie du Plessis, Coenie Oosthuizen, Francois Louw and Duane Vermeulen.
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Morne Steyn has been released from the squad for the week to be with his wife, who is due to give birth to their second child on Monday.
Frans Steyn, although still recovering from injury, is on compassionate leave following the passing of his brother and a decision on when he will rejoin the squad to be assessed will be taken at a later stage.
Winger Juan Imhoff scored a hat-trick of tries as Argentina recorded a stunning first win over South Africa in Durban.
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