Brussow ruled out of action for 2010

South Africa and Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brussow will not play rugby for the rest of the year after tearing knee ligaments in the final minutes of the Cheetahs’ Super 14 win over the Hurricanes in Bloemfontein.

The 23-year-old loose forward, who has played 13 Tests for the Springboks, will be sidelined for eight months with cruciate ligament damage, the Cheetahs said Monday on their website.

Brussow was stretchered off just before full time in the 28-12 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday. He is expected to have surgery on Monday.

Brussow made his debut against England on the end of season tour in 2008 but the dynamic flanker, nicknamed “the pocket rocket,” was the star of South Africa’s series victory over the British and Irish Lions last year.

He will miss South Africa’s defence of its Tri-Nations title as well as the end of year Grand Slam tour games against Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England.

He was named the SA Rugby Young Player of the Year for 2009 and was a nominee for the Player of the Year award in his first full season with the Springboks.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske said Brussow would now only be available again for next year’s expanded Super 15 competition.

Drotske called Brussow “irreplaceable.”

“This is a big blow,” Drotske said. “Heinrich is a unique player.”

“He is a once in a lifetime player. He always gives 150 per cent.”

Brussow made a name for himself when he replaced Schalk Burger in the first test of the British and Irish Lions test after impressing in the Lions warm up match against the Cheetahs.

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