HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leaders South Africa will be without playmaker Justin Geduld for the final four rounds after foot surgery.
Geduld suffered the injury on the second day of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas earlier this month, playing no part in the Blitzboks' triumph beyond the quarter-finals.
The 23-year-old joins Stephan Dippenaar and Rosko Specman on the sidelines in a difficult period for the Springbok Sevens, who lead England by 23 points after winning their fourth title in 2016-17 in Vancouver.
“Justin had surgery to his foot and ankle and is expected to be out for six to nine months,” said Springbok Sevens team doctor Leigh Gordon.
She also confirmed that Dippenaar will have to undergo surgery for a foot injury he sustained in Vancouver last weekend.
“Stephan Dippenaar’s foot injury requires surgery and he is seeing a surgeon tomorrow (Friday). He is expected to be out of action for between three and six months.”
Gordon also ruled out Specman for the next two HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in Hong Kong and Singapore next month.
“Rosko picked up a hamstring injury and will not be fit in time to travel to the next two tournaments, but if all goes well with his recovery, he should be able to play in Paris and London in May.”
Branco du Preez, Ruhan Nel and Cecil Afrika have also been in the wars, while Carel du Preez has been ruled out of the next tournament due to a back injury.
Tim Agaba has been cleared to train with the team when they return to their Stellenbosch base next week.
The squad will assemble again on Wednesday, 22 March, to start their preparations for the Hong Kong tournament from 7-9 April, which will be followed by the HSBC Singapore Sevens on 15-16 April.
The draw for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens was conducted earlier in the week. South Africa will face France, Kenya and Canada in Pool B.