Kings' threadbare resources depleted even further
INJURY UPDATE: South Kings coach Deon Davids will be relieved that his team's two-week European break has finally arrived.
Having lost the bulk of his established Super Rugby squad and forced to rebuild from scratch just weeks out from the start of the Pro14, Davids is set to lose a few more players to injury.
The Kings, like the Cheetahs, will watch from the sideline for the next two weeks when Pro14 teams shift their focus to other European competitions - the Champions and Challenge Cups.
There was enough bad news for the Kings in the wake of their 3-31 Pro14 defeat against Italian outfit Benetton in Treviso at the weekend.
Team doctor Clement Plaatjies reported that he had two major concerns - wing Sibusiso Sithole and fullback Masixole Banda.
The full extent of their injuries would only be known after further examination and X-rays, which would be done once the team arrived back in South Africa.
"Sithole appears to have ruptured a patella tendon in his knee,"the doctor said.
"I will be able to confirm the extent of the injury upon further investigation once we are back in Port Elizabeth, but at this stage the diagnosis is pretty clear-cut and he may well require surgery."
Sithole injured himself whilst competing for a high ball against Benetton and was forced to leave the field as a result.
"Masixole Banda has what looks to be a rather serious injury to his shoulder," the team doctor added.
"It is either a clavicle fracture or a ruptured ACJ ligament.
"Again, I'll only be able to confirm after we've taken X-rays, but either way it will, unfortunately, keep him out of action for quite a while."
Plaatjies also reported that prop Schalk Ferreira, who spent some time in the blood bin during the game, had needed some stitches to a cut on his forehead, but was otherwise fine.
Following another tough mini-tour of Europe, the Southern Kings players can now look forward to a few weeks of recovery before their next Pro14 clash - which will be against the undefeated Glasgow Warriors in Scotland on Friday, October 27.