MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Springboks flyhalf Handre Pollard has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will be out for “several months,” his French club Montpellier said on Monday.

The injury looks set to also keep Pollard out of the delayed Rugby Championship, which will be held in November and December in Australia.

Pollard, who won the Rugby World Cup with South Africa last year, was hurt attempting a tackle in the French Top 14 game against Racing-Metro 92 in Paris on Friday. He was key to South Africa's success in 2019, when the Springboks also won the Rugby Championship.

It's still uncertain if South Africa will play in the championship, which was moved to the end of the year and will be staged in just one country because of the coronavirus pandemic.

South African rugby teams have been out of action since March because of the virus and still haven't returned to action, unlike top teams in New Zealand and Australia. SA Rugby says its players may not be match-ready by the time the championship kicks off. They returned to full training only this month.

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