VIDEO: Training ground mishap leaves Stormers star with uncertain future
INJURY UPDATE: The Stormers’ vice-captain, Salmaan Moerat, faces an uncertain future, at least in the short-term, after injuring his neck in training.
Coach John Dobson described the bruising lock’s lay-off period as “indefinitely”.
“We are not sure how long he will be sidelined for,” Dobson told a virtual media briefing on Friday, adding: “It could be a couple of weeks, it could be longer.
“With neck injuries and a young career as exciting as that [of Moerat], you don’t mess around with that.
“We are being very conservative with him.”
The coach added that Moerat suffered the injury – described as a neck ‘flexion’ – in training a fortnight ago.
“Knees and ankles are one thing. Necks and stability [of the spine] is something you don’t want to mess with.”
Dobson also explained the reason behind naming seasoned Springbok hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi on the bench for the opening round of the South African version of the Rainbow Cup – when the Stormers host the Sharks at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
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While Dobson stopped short of confirming it, he hinted that rumours about Mbonambi’s uncertain future at the Cape Town franchise may have played a role.
“Scarra [Siyabonga Ntubeni] has trained really well,” he said of starting the one-cap Bok ahead of the World Cup winner.
“He plays really well with Kitsy [captain Steven Kitshoff] and Frans [Malherbe].”
Dobson also confirmed that Mbonambi – who is rumoured to be joining Bok skipper Siyamthanda Kolisi at the Sharks – has still not made a long-term commitment to the Stormers.
His contract runs till October this year.
“Scarra extended his contract a while ago,” the Stormers coach said.
He added that Mbonambi will get plenty of game time in the Rainbow Cup.
“We have two Springbok hookers who are pushing each other hard and Scarra, the way he has trained, gets an opportunity tomorrow [Saturday],” Dobson added.
“There is no long-term strategy, other than this game.”