VIDEO: Bok coach opens up on Vermeulen's surgery
SPOTLIGHT: The Springboks will not be bringing in cover for Duane Vermeulen, despite the No.8 undergoing surgery on Wednesday.
The Bulls captain injured his ankle during his team’s 31-27 Rainbow Cup win over the Stormers last Friday and the Boks are hoping their talisman will be fit in time for the upcoming British and Irish Lions series.
Bok head coach Jacques Nienaber, who is nervously waiting on feedback from the medical team, is trying to remain optimistic that he will get his star back in time.
“Hopefully, the surgery goes well and then hopefully the rehab goes well,” Nienaber told the media in a virtual briefing on Wednesday.
“Some players come back from it anywhere between five to 16 weeks. It depends on the severity of the injury and I think the surgeon will probably know that once he has opened it up and had a good look at what is going on inside.
“When they [medical team] said anything from five to 16 weeks, I said: ‘Hell, you are covering your bases hey’.
“Certain players return very quickly.
“Jesse [Kriel] had a similar op just before the World Cup in 2019 and made a speedy return.
Nienaber added: “It all depends on the severity. It might be a long-term injury, but we will probably have more feedback on that after the surgery.”
When asked about a possible replacement for Vermeulen, Nienaber said: “We had a discussion on that, and we are not going to get somebody in for Duane.”
Leicester No.8 Jasper Wiese, who is uncapped, has been widely tipped to take over from Vermeulen if the latter is ruled out of the B&I Lions series.
There has also been some talk in the media of bringing in Marcell Coetzee, who is now at the Bulls, at a later stage.
Meanwhile, Vermeulen took to social media to give an update on his surgery.
He posted on his Instagram page that the operation was a “success”.
“Done and dusted,” he added.
“Thanks for all the messages. [I am] really humbled by all the support.”
View this post on Instagram