Pieter-Steph won't play this year
INJURY UPDATE: World Rugby’s Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit is unlikely to feature in a match this year.
This was confirmed by Stormers coach John Dobson on Monday, when he revealed that Du Toit remains a long-term injury absentee.
Du Toit, 28, has been under the knife three times since he suffered an acute compartment syndrome injury – following a knock to his thigh in the encounter with the Blues at Newlands in February.
The recovery has been a slow and uncertain process, with concerns that a lack of muscle regeneration might end his career.
However, there was some positive news on Monday.
“There are signs that the muscle is beginning to regenerate,” Dobson said of the latest surgery.
“However, it is unlikely we will see him on the field this year,” the coach said, adding: “Hopefully early next year.”
The other good news is that Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi’s injury is not as serious as first thought.
Kolisi was caught awkwardly in a ruck clean-out in the Stormers’ 42-37 win over the Pumas in Nelspruit last Friday.
While it is a ‘grade one’ hamstring tear, Dobson revealed that he is expected to return in two to three weeks.
The bad news is that talented young loose forward Nama Xaba is not available this week.
He rolled his ankle against the Pumas and went for a scan on Monday.
However, the full prognoses won’t be known till later in the week.
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The real good news is that Springboks Siyabonga Ntubeni and Steven Kitshoff will start training again on Wednesday – after completing a 10-day isolation period, following the COVID-19 scare in the wake of the Round Two Super Rugby Unlocked encounter with the Lions.
Both will play against the Bulls in the big North-South derby in Pretoria on Saturday
Utility back Damian Willemse, who was pulled out of the Nelspruit match as a precaution after suffering a leg haematoma against the Lions, is fine and also available for selection.
Sevens stars Seabelo Senatla and Ruhan Nel have both started training and is about a week or two away from returning.
Outside back Sergeal Petersen is about four weeks from returning.