Duane Vermeulen goes under the knife – PICTURES

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Eyebrows were raised when Springbok great Duane Vermeulen was not selected in last Saturday’s 43-man squad for the upcoming international season.

We now know why.

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Initial thoughts were the star No 8 was too old and it was time to bring in some younger, fresh blood with an eye on the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Duane Vermeulen will be 36 next month

Vermeulen, who has played 59 Tests for the Springboks, will turn 36 on 3 July this year.

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Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber was quick to mention that: “Duane is undergoing a procedure on his knee and his club [Ulster] has given him permission to do his rehab in South Africa, and when he is fit he will slot in again.”

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So ‘Thor’ has not been put out to pasture and Stormers youngster Evan Roos has not ‘retired’ the Springbok legend just yet.

Duane Vermeulen took to his Instagram account this week to post pictures both before and after his surgery.

At this stage it’s unclear how long he will be sidelined for.

The Springboks will next be in action in three home Tests against Wales on Saturdays 2, 9 and 16 July.

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