CAPE TOWN South Africa flanker Schalk Burger has undergone a third operation in two months and is unlikely to play this year.
Burger has not played since the opening game of the 2012 Super Rugby season and is still recovering from life-threatening bacterial meningitis.
The 30-year-old had hoped to be fit for the start of this Super Rugby campaign, but following surgery to correct a nerve problem in his back in late March, he went under the knife a second time to drain fluid from a cyst. It was then that he contracted the bacterial meningitis.
He was released from hospital last month to continue his recovery at home.
"Schalk returned to hospital on Wednesday to have the wound drained and cleaned up, and he will return home when the doctors are happy that he is well enough," his agent said. "It is not known at this stage when Schalk will be fit to return to training."
Burger missed out on a Springbok contract last month due to uncertainty over his future.
(Reporting By Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)