Hougaard set for ankle surgery
South Africa and Bulls scrum-half Francois Hougaard has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury.
Hougaard sustained the blow during last weekend's Super Rugby semi-final loss to the Brumbies in Pretoria.
He is now set for surgery next week and is expected to be out for the rest of the season according to the Bulls medical team.
"It isn't the same ankle injury that has been plaguing him," said Bulls team doctor Org Strauss.
"This is a different injury he picked up and we believe it is the right course of action that he undergoes surgery."
The news marks the latest chapter of a frustrating season for Hougaard, who has suffered problems with his other ankle throughout the 2013 Super Rugby campaign, consequently losing his starting spot for the Bulls and Springboks to team-mate Jano Vermaak.
Vermaak is now expected to compete with Ruan Pienaar for the number nine jersey in The Rugby Championship, with new Bulls signing Piet Van Zyl also in contention.