Sharks and Springboks star Coetzee ruled out for nine months


South Africa and Sharks forward Marcell Coetzee has been sidelined for nine months after sustaining an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury against Lions on Saturday.

The flanker had to be taken from the field on a stretcher during Sharks' 24-9 Super Rugby defeat to Lions in Durban, with head coach Gary Gold later admitting "it's not looking great".

Sharks subsequently confirmed Coetzee will not tour with the team in New Zealand and the South African franchise detailed the severity of his injury on Twitter on Monday, with the 24-year-old requiring surgery.

"We can confirm @marcell_coetzee has an ACL injury and is out for 9 months," Sharks posted. "He is to undergo an operation this week." 

Coetzee is due to join Pro12 side Ulster at the end of the Super Rugby season, but it remains to be seen if his switch will be delayed.

The injury also means he will miss South Africa's three-Test series against Ireland in June as well as the Rugby Championship, which starts in August.