Cape Town - Flyhalf Elton Jantjies is a doubtful starter for the Stormers' Super rugby match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Jantjies, who sustained a bruise to the chest against the Crusaders last week, was released from training this week, and his fitness will be tested at the captain’s run in Bloemfontein on Friday afternoon.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee was clearly annoyed on Wednesday, at the team announcement in Bellville, where he stated emphatically that Jantjies was not "injured", as had been reported in the media.
Coetzee also had a doctor’s report with him to show the medical prognosis for Jantjies's condition.
"I want to assure you that I would never select a player who has an injury, or a fracture in this case,” Coetzee said.
"I have given Elton off from training because he’s just got a bruise on his chest. It's a way of managing a player.
“Elton will be given as much time as needs to prove his fitness, and then we do a test at the captain’s practice on Friday.
"I have selected him and he will be given time to recover, like other players have been given time in the past.”
Coetzee has promoted Gary van Aswegen from the ranks of the Vodacom Cup team to the Stormers bench, and he will be assured the pivot slot if Jantjies fails his fitness test.
The Stormers coach has made five changes, one of them positional, to the side that lost 19-14 to the Crusaders in the last round at Newlands.
Michael Rhodes, one of the Lions' recruits, makes his debut on the flank after Rynhardt Elstadt was sidelined by injury.
Scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage drops out of the matchday squad and his place will be taken by Nic Groom, with Louis Schreuder providing cover on the bench.
Jaco Taute comes off the bench to fill in at fullback, and Joe Pietersen will play on the wing in the only positional change in the side.
On the bench, Gerbrandt Grobler is set to make his Stormers debut and he'll provide lock cover for Don Armand, who has a rib injury.
Kick-off at the Free State Stadium is at 17:05 on Saturday.
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johan Sadie, 2 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Phillip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuisen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Sarel Pretorius, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Ryno Benjamin
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Joe Pietersen, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Gio Aplon, 10. Elton Jantjies 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Gerbrandt Grobler, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Gary van Aswegen, 22. Damian de Allende