Cape Town - Western Province coach Allister Coetzee is preparing for the possibility that Springbok flanker Siya Kolisi could be out of rugby for the rest of his team’s Absa Currie Cup campaign.
The supersport.com website reports that Kolisi was one of three WP players who were injured and had to be replaced during the Cape team’s first defeat of the Currie Cup season to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg at the weekend.
The others were wing Kobus van Wyk, who received a knock to the head, and hooker Stephan Coetzee, who limped off with a knee injury.
All three are doubtful for the next game against Griquas at Newlands this Saturday, but Kolisi is definitely out for longer than that.
"Siya tore both his MCLs, which means both his knee, and that will rule him out for four weeks at a minimum," said Coetzee on Monday.
"He could be out for longer than that, maybe up to six weeks, so we have to accept that it will be touch and go to get him ready for the play-offs."
Sikhumbuzo Notshe replaced Kolisi in the 35-33 defeat at Ellis Park and is likely to start against Griquas, though Coetzee did admit that he is struggling to figure out how best to accommodate both Notshe and Nizaam Carr in the same back row as they are both linking type of players.
Coetzee used Carr at openside flank when Duane Vermeulen played No 8 for the Stormers in Super Rugby, but Coetzee is reluctant to do that.
"Nizaam has just made the adjustment to No 8 and he is doing well there so it would be wrong to move him back to openside now.
"If Nizaam could make the switch in Super Rugby, there is no reason why Notshe should not be able to do it.
"So that is what I am thinking and Notshe does have the inside track.
"Obviously someone like Rohan Kitshoff, who is a fetcher, can be introduced onto the bench."
Regarding Van Wyk, Coetzee said the wing was going to undergo a concussion test during the course of the week and his availability for the Griquas game will be dependent on how he comes through it.
Coetzee (Stephan) looked in discomfort when he left the field against the Lions but the WP mentor is giving him until Wednesday to prove his fitness.
With Scarra Ntubeni having played most of the Ellis Park match as a replacement, WP shouldn’t have too many problems at hooker even if Coetzee is ruled out.