Lions 'error' could end Whiteley's World Cup dream
INJURY UPDATE: The desperate need to “accelerate” his recovery, may well have ended Warren Whiteley’s World Cup dream.
Golden Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen, speaking after his team’s 26-31 Currie Cup loss to the Blue Bulls, described Whiteley as an ‘ongoing process’.
However, it appears the former Springbok captain’s prospects of making the World Cup cut is over.
The knee injury that has sidelined him since April looks set to keep him from the field for the rest of the season.
Van Rooyen said he had to be “honest” when he addressed the media in a post-match briefing at Ellis Park.
“The process was to see if we can accelerate him [his recovery], get him ready for the World Cup,” Van Rooyen said.
“They did put him on an accelerator programme.
“[However,] unfortunately it just didn’t respond the way they hoped to.”
The coach admitted the rush to get Whiteley back on the field has put him “back a couple of steps”.
“We are literally taking it week by week,” he said of Whiteley’s recovery process.
With just one more Test – against Argentina in Pretoria this coming Saturday – before Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus names his World Cup squad, Whiteley appears to have run out of time to force his way into the squad.
The Lions have only two more league matches remaining before the Currie Cup play-offs – against the Sharks in Johannesburg this coming Sunday (August 18) and Griquas in Kimberley (August 24).
Unless Erasmus leaves a vacancy when he names his World Cup squad, it appears the door may well be shut on Whiteley’s possible World Cup shot.