Van Niekerk under the knife in Colorado while on honeymoon
Honeymooner Wayde van Niekerk was due to undergo surgery in the US on Tuesday night to fix a knee injury that will keep him out of competition for an estimated six months.
He will miss the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April. He had planned to run in the 100m and 200m races.
The 400m Olympic and world champion picked up medial and lateral tears of the meniscus, as well as a torn anterior cruciate ligament while taking part in a celebrity touch-rugby match in Cape Town.
After surgery at Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, he will undergo rehabilitation for six months there as well as in Doha and South Africa.
Van Niekerk said he hoped he would be ready to compete late in the 2018 season.
"I was looking forward to competing in the 100m and 200m events on the Gold Coast, and participating at the national championships in March, so this is unfortunate timing," said Van Niekerk, who won the 400m silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.