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Wednesday, November 10, 1999 Published at 13:40 GMT

Sport: Rugby Union

Same old problem for Joost

Joost Van Der Westhuizen: "After the New Zealand game, I couldn't walk"

South Africa captain, Joost van der Westhuizen, will miss the best part of the Super 12 season for the third year running, after injuring his right knee in the World Cup semi-final defeat against Australia.

The scrum-half, who undwent surgery on Wednesday, said he played "a game and half" with a torn knee tendon after injuring himself midway through the Wallabies clash.

"I thought I tore it against Australia," Van der Westhuizen said.

[ image: His right knee was already heavily strapped in the World Cup]
His right knee was already heavily strapped in the World Cup
"There was a lot of discomfort but I decided to play the full game against New Zealand.

"I'm obviously very disappointed but what can I do?"

Van der Westhuizen is expected to spend at least two months resting before the rehabilitation process can begin.

Springbok physiotherapist Wayne Diesel said: "We evaluated Joost before the tournament and his knee was stable enough to play.

"Joost went to see a specialist when we returned and he recommended surgery."

It is the third successive year that Van der Westhuizen has ended a trip to the nothern hemisphere with a long-term injury.

He missed the majority of the 1998 and 1999 Super 12 seasons following groin and knee injuries sustained against France and England respectively.

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