It wasn’t the only setback, as the Stormers were left reeling after at least four other major injuries could derail their road to Loftus.
While De Villiers’ shoulder injury will only rule him out of this weekend, the losses of prop Steven Kitshoff (knee, eight weeks) and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder (thumb, three months) are big blows.
“We are decimated, but the players coming in have to perform,” said coach Allister Coetzee.
“It’s always a mighty big challenge playing at Loftus Versfeld, but also a mighty big achievement to perform there.”
Prop Frans Malherbe (knock to head) and lock Michael Rhodes (general knocks/soreness) are also doubtful, but will be given time to prove their fitness.
“All-South African derbies are always big matches and playing the Bulls in Pretoria is a very physical challenge,” added Coetzee.
Lock Jurie van Vuuren (shoulder, eight weeks), and wing Kobus van Wyk (wrist) will also be out of action for some time, but in some good news prop Pat Cilliers and lock Jean Kleyn will be available for selection.
Flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis (broken nose) requires another week before being available for selection, but wing Sailosi Tagicakibau (calf muscle) is out for at least two weeks.
“Players like Alistair Vermaak, Robert du Preez and Huw Jones (from the Vodacom Cup team) will join us this week, but players like Michael van der Spuy (broken nose) and Johnny Kotze are injured and can’t be considered.”