Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus' worst Rugby Championship fears were realised when it was confirmed on Thursday that wing S'bu Nkosi has been sidelined with an ankle sprain.
In naming their Super Rugby team to face the Jaguares in a must-win clash at Kings Park on Saturday, the Sharks confirmed that Nkosi will be sidelined for 8-12 weeks after scans indicated the star wing has a syndesmosis sprain of his left ankle.
Nkosi was a revelation for the Boks in their three June Tests against England, making an immediate impact in the Green and Gold jersey in what was his debut for his country, scoring two tries in helping Erasmus' side clinch the series 2-1 against Eddie Jones' men.
In a best-case scenario, Nkosi, 22, will return to the field on September 8 in time for the Boks' away clash against the Wallabies in Brisbane.
A worst-case scenario will see him return for the Boks' final match against the All Blacks at Loftus Versfeld on October 6.
The Boks open their 2018 Rugby Championship campaign against Argentina, ironically in Durban, on Saturday, August 18.