AUDIO: Whiteley clings to World Cup dream
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Former Springbok captain Warren Whiteley says he is “on track” to make a last-ditch bid for a place in the World Cup squad.
Whiteley, on a strict rehabilitation programme after a knee procedure earlier this year, said he hopes to return top the playing field next month.
“I want to give myself a chance,” he said of his World Cup dream.
“Realistically [I am aiming at] that last Test match [against Argentina in Pretoria] on August 17,” Whiteley said, adding: “Hopefully I can play a Currie Cup game [against the Blue Bulls on August 10] before that – just to give myself a shot.”
He explained that when he hurt his knee against the Chiefs in Hamilton back in April, it was a bone bruise and a small hole in the cartilage.
He then came back too soon and aggravated it against the Waratahs two weeks later.
Then followed a procedure to repair the damage, which appears to have been successful.
Whiteley said it would be “massive” to go the World Cup.
“Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have been through a few injuries in the last two years,” he said.
“Mentally I know what to do to be in the right state of mind.”
He said he has never had a problem coming back from injury and having the confidence to give it a full go.
“It is just about being physically ready at the right time.
“In the past, I have perhaps come back too early.”
Asked if he had been chatting to the Springbok coach, Whiteley said Rassie Erasmus has his plans and he (Whiteley) just want to give himself a shot at making the squad.
“I am focussed to get back onto the field and once I am on the field it is out of my hands.
“It is not just about getting onto the field, but also to perform at a high enough level.
“He [Erasmus] will decide.”
He admitted it will be tough to break into a settled Bok squad, which he described as “extremely strong”.
“That is not in my hands. If I focus on that, it is going to affect my rehabilitation.”