Cape Town - Stormers captain and flank Schalk Burger
could possibly be sidelined until July, which would see him miss the Springboks' three-Test series against England.
Burger has been missing from the Stormers side since tearing medial ligaments in a knee during their Super Rugby opening-round clash with the Hurricanes at Newlands on February 25.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee
has, on a few occasions, stated that Burger could return for their home game against the Cheetahs on May 12.
However, Die Burger
has been reliably informed that Burger's knee injury is far worse than initially stated and that he's actually in a race against time to make the England series, which starts on June 9.
The newspaper states that Burger will in all likelihood only be ready for action in July, which will see him miss all three Tests against England.
Burger is a strong candidate for Bok captain and this explains coach Heyneke Meyer
's eagerness to lure lock Victor Matfield
out of retirement.
Meanwhile, eighthman Duane Vermeulen
, who captained the Stormers in their 23-13 win over the Reds on Friday, also looks set to be sidelined longer than initially anticipated.
He landed in Cape Town on Monday and still needs to undergo a scan but indications are there that he'll be out for between four and six months due to a knee injury.
Wing/fullback Gio Aplon also returned home after picking up a hamstring injury against the Reds. He will, however, be ready for the clash against the Cheetahs.
Centre Jean de Villiers, who captained the team in Burger's absence before injuring ligaments in his hand against the Crusaders, is expected to be ready for the clash against the Waratahs on May 19.