Cape Town - When Western Province captain Juan de Jongh injured his knee in a forgettable 9-3 win over the Free State Cheetahs at Newlands mid-August, the initial prognosis wasn't good.
At a push, his Grade Two MCL tear would see him return for the Currie Cup playoffs.
But coach John Dobson revealed on Monday that he is expecting to have his Springbok No. 13 back in a couple of weeks.
“A week or two … not more than two weeks, so I’m very chuffed with that,” the coach said.
“We’ll be conservative with him ... but at the time it was a 10-12 (week injury) and now it seems to be a 6-8.”
Dobson identified the October 2 trip to the Golden Lions as a potential date for De Jongh's return.
More on Nizaam Carr's availability, meanwhile, would be known on Tuesday.
The No. 8, who was named the side's skipper in De Jongh's absence, missed Saturday's win over the Sharks in Durban with a hamstring injury but Dobson is optimistic over the 24-year-old's prospects for Friday night's clash against the Blue Bulls at Newlands.
Elsewhere, inside centre Jaco Taute (groin) will be available while flyhalf Kurt Coleman (groin) has been ruled out.
“(Over) the last two weeks we’ve clawed our way back in and I don’t want to make crazy changes when the team is gathering some momentum now,” said Dobson.
Full WP injury report:
– Flyhalf Kurt Coleman (groin) will not be considered for selection this week.
– No.8 Nizaam Carr (hamstring strain) will be given until Tuesday – when the WP team is announced – to prove his fitness ahead of the weekend.
– Inside centre Jaco Taute (groin) is up for selection this week after missing the Sharks clash.
– Centre and 2015 squad captain Juan de Jongh (MCL – knee) is making good progress from his long-term injury and should be ready for a return sooner than anticipated.