There is a fairly good chance that Juan Smith may be able to recuperate in time for this yearâ€™s World Cup in New Zealand.
It is expected that the Cheetahs captain will be fit again in about six months.Â He is expected to be ready for action in August.
The opening match of the World Cup is on September 9 and the Springboks play their first game against Wales on September 11.
It was initially feared that Smithâ€™s Achilles tendon had been completely torn and that he would miss the showpiece altogether.
While Mondayâ€™s news was better than anticipated, Smith will be in a race against time to make the deadline for the selection of the Boksâ€™ World Cup squad.
Cheetahs team doctor Ian Morris said that the operation went well and that things are looking encouraging for the Bok.
â€śWe are planning on having him fit for the World Cup. There is definitely a chance that he can recover in time. If everything goes well, six months is not an unreasonable recovery period. He will be able to play in August and the World Cup starts at the beginning of September,â€ť said Morris, who helped with the operation.
Smith will not train at all for the next two months and will start with rehabilitation after that period. If there are no further complications, he should be ready in August.
His injury so early in the Super Rugby season may well be a blessing in disguise for the Boks. Had it happened any later, he would definitely have been ruled out of the World Cup.
Meanwhile, the Cheetahs will not field Springbok flank Heinrich BrĂĽssow against the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.
BrĂĽssow made his return from a knee injury for Free Stateâ€™s Vodacom Cup team against the Falcons last Friday.
He only played for 40 minutes after being on the sidelines for almost a year.
Cheetahs coach Naka DrotskĂ© said that BrĂĽssow would run out again for Free State in a Vodacom Cup match against the Pumas on Saturday and is expected to be available for Super Rugby the following weekend.
More good news for the Cheetahs is that flank Frans Viljoen (hamstring) is only expected to be sidelined for a week. It was earlier thought that he would be sidelined for approximately four weeks.