Pretoria - Springboks Pierre Spies, Arno Botha, Handre Pollard, Marcel van der Merwe and Adriaan Strauss will all return to Bulls training from next week onwards, it was confirmed in Pretoria on Tuesday.
The Bulls squad assembled in Pretoria on Monday to prepare for the 2015 Super Rugby season, but a couple of senior players will only join the fray later this month.
Spies and Botha, who missed almost the whole of 2014 due to a bicep and knee injury respectively, will re-join the squad next Monday, as will fullback Jurgen Visser, who missed most of the Currie Cup campaign with a foot injury. Van der Merwe, who recovered from a knee injury, will start on Monday as well, team doctor Org Strauss confirmed.
Pollard (foot) and Strauss (calf) is due back on 19 January.
Burger Odendaal (foot), Jaco Visagie (knee), Grant Hatting (ankle), Dries Swanepoel (Achilles) and Jason Jenkins (quad) will all join on Monday, 12 January 12.
Meanwhile, Springbok lock and 2014 Bulls captain Flip van der Merwe is only expected back on April 15. He recovered from a knee operation, but injured a pectoral muscle in pre-season. Props Basil Short (pectoral muscle, February 2) and Hencus van Wyk (knee, February 28) will be back next months.
Junior Springboks prop Pierre Schoeman is the only other long term injury and will be out for six months after sustaining a knee injury. He will undergo an operation on Wednesday.
The Bulls start their Super Rugby campaign at home against the Stormers on February 14.