The injury is worse than initially expected with the Lions confirming that Kriel would have surgery on Tuesday and be sidelined until early 2018.
It is bad luck for Kriel who had only recently broken in to the starting XV after stellar performances for the Lions in recent years.
He did a good job as stand-in captain for the Lions in the absence of the injured Warren Whiteley and has impressed for the Springboks in the Rugby Championship.
Jean-Luc Du Preez replaced Kriel in the starting line-up for last weekend’s humiliation at the hands of the All Blacks.
To add to the Lions’ injury woes, lock Lourens Erasmus will undergo an operation on his left knee and will be out for approximately three months.
Erasmus has returned to South Africa after sustaining the injury while playing for Docomo Red Hurricanes in the Japanese Top League.