Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee
has lamented on the walking wounded following Saturday’s Super Rugby win over the Cheetahs at Newlands.
With the Stormers already confirming on their website
that newly capped Springbok, Siya Kolisi
will be lost to them for the rest of their campaign, Coetzee said the injury was not as serious as initially thought.
Kolisi tore ankle ligaments
in Saturday’s 28-3 win over the Cheetahs
on Saturday and will be out of action for six weeks.
"It’s the least problematic ligament, the anterior one, so no surgery will be required, but he will out for six weeks," said Coetzee.
"The loose forward (injury) bogey doesn’t want to go away," added the coach,
Coetzee admitted that although their stocks in the loose forward department have
been severely depleted all season, they have felt the brunt of the
injury 'curse' elsewhere as well.
"We’ve got 12 top players out at present – that’s almost a full team – so I guess we’re almost immune to these big injury blows on a Monday," said Coetzee after training on Monday.
"The big thing for me, however, is that the players that step in are ready to do so… and to take that opportunity that presents itself. It’s been our mantra all season long.
"Players cannot get the opportunity and say, ‘Well, next time I’ll be ready’, they must take that chance when they get in.
"A player like (centre) Damian de Allende has taken his chance this season and continued to develop along the way.
"Scarra Ntubeni came in at the 11th hour last week and look at how he performed? Gerbrandt Grobler is also coming through nicely now.
"That’s how it is in this game and you need to build your depth – it’s crucial."
Despite the injury to Kolisi, the Cape side welcomed back a loose forward in the form of Rynhardt Elstadt, who has recovered from his knee injury
, with prop Pat Cilliers also returning to full training after a long period on the sidelines.
"I am pleased that they came through training well today," said Coetzee.
"It’s ongoing, however, and we will monitor them and see how they react after today (for starters)."
Flyhalf Elton Jantjies
and winger Bryan Habana
did not train on Monday, whilst prop Steven Kitshoff and lock De Kock Steenkamp missed the afternoon session.
But the Stormers have confirmed that Jantjies, Habana, Kitshoff and Steenkamp will all be available for selection against the Kings this weekend.
However, captain Jean de Villiers is still out with a sternum injury which ruled him out of the Cheetahs clash at the weekend.
"Jean is doing well, but he’s definitely not 100% as yet.
"I know he’s keen to play, but we don’t want to risk any further damage by rushing him back," said Coetzee.
"There is a real possibility that Jean could be back for the Bulls game, but he must be 100% ready.
"If there’s a bit of pain (still), he won’t play.
"He must come through training next week and then I know he’ll be ready (to play)."
Coetzee also said that hooker Tiaan Liebenberg
is walking with less discomfort after being a late injury-withdrawal at the weekend.
"He couldn’t walk last week, so he’s certainly a lot better, but we will know more after his visit to the specialist," Coetzee said of Liebenberg’s untimely injury.
Looking ahead to this weekend, the Stormers are preparing for a first-ever Super Rugby visit to the Nelson Mandela
"We’re expecting one helluva battle in PE," Coetzee said.
"We put in hard work today and I know, from experience, that it’s best to forget about (our win over the Cheetahs) and to put in the hard yards ahead of the Kings game.
"We still want to improve our log position and keep building on what we’ve been working on during June.
"I was obviously very pleased with the Cheetahs game, and it gives one confidence, but our plan has always been to win these last three games, that’s where the focus is."
Meanwhile, star Springbok No.8 Duane Vermeulen
is two weeks away from returning to full field training.
Vermeulen is currently doing his rehabilitation for his knee injury
at the WP Rugby Institute in Stellenbosch.
"Duane will be back in two weeks, but where we will be in terms of our Super Rugby season remains to be seen.
"I think it’s safe to say that Michael Rhodes
will be back, too, then… but we will deal with that as and when," added Coetzee.