Stoneham’s Richard Bland has been forced to withdraw from this week’s Joburg Open due to injury.

The European Tour pro, who has been suffering from back and knee problems, has opted to pull out of the season’s latest event in order to avoid causing any long-term damage.

The Southampton-based player had hoped to compete in Johannesburg, having had to retire from the Dubai Desert Classic last week.

But Bland will now fly home from South Africa, before heading back to the country at the end of the month for the Tshwane Open.