WELLINGTON: Lock Andries Ferreira will return home to South Africa after being released by the Wellington Hurricanes without having played a game after he aggravated an old knee injury.
The 28-year-old only joined the Hurricanes three weeks ago as a replacement for Sam Lousi, who had to have surgery on a pectoral muscle injury.
"He had a recurrence of an injury that he had last year," Hurricanes coach John Plumtree said on Tuesday of Ferreira, who previously played for the Johannesburg-based Lions.
"We thought that he was all good, but he's come out here and tweaked it again at training.
While Ferreira was likely to be fit in about three weeks, Plumtree said they needed a player to immediately cover the loss of Lousi and were likely to stick with backups in their squad.
"It's not worth the effort of doing that (rehab)," Plumtree added. "Right now we'll run with what we've got."
Ferreira was not the only player to succumb to a knee injury in the last 24 hours, with All Blacks flanker Liam Squire's World Cup hopes diminishing after he was ruled out for up to 10 weeks following a knee injury.
The blindside flanker has yet to appear for the Otago Highlanders this season after working his way back from a hip injury but tore a medial ligament in training last week, coach Aaron Mauger said.
"It is a terrible blow for him. The guy has worked so hard to get back to where he is," Mauger told reporters.
"These things happen in rugby and unfortunately they have happened to a guy who has already had a bit of adversity this year.
"He has had some poor luck, all right."
Squire, who turns 28 on Wednesday, is unlikely to return until mid-May at the earliest and would have less than a month to prove to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen that he would be worth risking in the World Cup squad.
The global showpiece will be held in Japan from Sept. 20-Nov. 2.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ian Ransom)