Vermeulen had to leave the field just after the hour mark in the 28-10 Springbok victory over Australia at Newlands in Cape Town last Saturday.
“Duane fell awkwardly and injured a rib cartilage,” explained Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts.
“Due to discomfort he was unable to continue playing and was substituted. He’s responded well to treatment but we will still manage him through training this week before making a final call on his availability to face New Zealand on Saturday.”
The only other injury concern at this stage is Bryan Habana, who took a blow to the head while making a tackle in the 27th minute.
“Bryan left the field and the standard head injury assessment was conducted by the match doctor, which cleared Bryan to return to play,” said Roberts.
“Although Bryan returned to the field late in the first half, he developed some symptoms of concussion at the break and we decided to replace him permanently with JP Pietersen. He will need to follow the standard step-wise post-concussion return to play protocol before being considered for the Test at Ellis Park.”
The Springbok team to face New Zealand will be named tomorrow.