Johannesburg - Springbok enforcer Bakkies Botha is almost ready to get back into action, but it is unlikely he will face the Lions this weekend at Loftus Versfeld.
Vodacom Bulls team doctor Org Strauss told SuperSport.com that he was satisfied that Botha’s Achilles heel injury had healed sufficiently, but the only question now was whether or not Botha was match fit to take the field again.
“The injury is fine,” Dr Strauss told SuperSport.com, “Bakkies has been training hard while we were away and has been doing a lot of running. He will join the training session again today(Monday) and we will assess his fitness then. It’s a bit early to say if he will back as early as this weekend.”
The Bulls aren’t exactly short in the lineout, with Danie Rossouw and Flip van der Merwe both in good form, and while Botha is world class, it is more important to have him available for the bigger matches than to rush him back into action.
There was also no good news about a possible return for Akona Ndungane, who played two weeks ago in the Vodacom Cup match against Namibia but was injured again.
“Akona’s ankle, which he broke, has also healed well, but he had a knock on his knee in the Namibia game and that is why he didn’t play last weekend. We will have to assess him as well, but he may be out for another week.”
On the positive side, Jaco Pretorius has recovered from the injury that ended his tour and can be considered for selection at outside centre.
The same goes for Chiliboy Ralepelle, who missed last weekend’s Vodacom Cup game because of a family bereavement, but is fit and ready for selection.
The only other injury consideration remains utility back Jaco van der Westhuyzen, whose calf strain is likely to keep him out for at least another week.