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Burger ruled out for Springboks June tests

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James Mortimer     05 May 2012     Getty Images

Burger, who left the field in the Stormers first Investec Super Rugby match of 2012 favouring his knee, tore his medial ligaments – and was expected to return to action in the immediate future.

However a statement from the Stormers on their official website thestormers.co.za revealed that the 29-year-old’s injury is taking longer than expected to heal, and he will not return to the field until July.

Burger is not the only loose forward who will continue to miss action, with Duane Vermeulen and Nick Koster to be out for another couple of months, with the two back rowers nursing knee injuries as well.

The ‘blonde bomber’ was considered an early favourite to take over the Springboks’ captaincy reigns, but recent planning camps in Pretoria and Cape Town have led to whisperings that Burger’s Western Province team-mate Jean de Villiers may be given the armband as Stuart Lancaster’s England arrives in the Republic.

The injury news is offset by the fact that de Villiers and Gio Aplon have recovered from their wrist and hamstring injuries respectively, while forward’s Andries Bekker (back) and Eben Etzebeth have been cleared to play.

All four will be available for selection for their match against the Cheetahs next week, with the Stormers taking a bye in round eleven.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said that despite their position on the table, they were taking nothing for granted.

"We are in a good position at the moment, but it can all be quickly undone," Coetzee said.

"The next four games are crucial to our campaign and our focus is fully on the Cheetahs next week.

"We are really looking forward to playing in front of the faithful again. Our time on tour was good, but there is really nothing like playing in front of our home fans. Newlands is a special place and the guys feed off that energy."