Stormers' injury list grows
Cape Town - Michael Rhodes, Ruan Botha and Jurie van Vuuren have all been added to the Stormers' injury list after their Super Rugby derby against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday night.
Flanker Rhodes took a hard knock to the knee and the damage will be assessed when he returns from Johannesburg where he and 12 other team mates were attending a Springbok training camp.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee told the media in Bellville on Monday that the knock that Rhodes suffered may have caused severe bruising.
Coetzee said it was unlikely that Rhodes would be available for selection this week.
"Rhodes may have suffered bone bruising and he'll be ruled out for this week's match," said Coetzee.
"Scans will be done when he returns from Johannesburg and then we'll know the extent of the injury.
"Botha has taken a knock to his head and will undergo a concussion test.
"Van Vuuren has dislocated his shoulder and that puts him on the sidelines for at least three weeks."
The injuries to Botha and Van Vuuren, both locks, will affect the squad's second-row resources.
Rynhardt Elstadt was laid low by a broken bone in his lower leg last week and now Rhodes also has an injury.
Both flanks, however, have been roped into the second row whenever the need arose.
This week locks Eben Etzebeth and Jean Kleyn will return to full training and Coetzee expects both players to be up for selection for the SA Conference derby clash against the Sharks at Newlands on Saturday evening.
More good news is that the Storrmers will welcome back loose forward Schalk Burger on Tuesday.
He will be returning from Japan where he has been playing club rugby for Suntory Sungoliath.
According to Coetzee, Burger should be "fresh" because he has not been playing "too much rugby' in Japan.
"There are foreign-player restrictions in Japan's club rugby set up and he has not always been able to play, and when he did, he came off the bench," said Coetzee.
"It's too early to say whether he'll play or even be in the match-day squad but we'll know more about his condition once the team's medical staff have done tests."
"The good thing about Schalk is that he is experienced and can play at 6, 7 or 8. He knows what the roles are for each position."
As a result of 13 Stormers attending the Bok training camp in Johannesburg on Monday, Coetzee decided to give the rest of the squad a break.
"We had a similar situation last week when we had a break on Monday. As the (Super Rugby) tournament progresses, Monday will become a recovery or rest session. We'll probably do tactical work sessions and it’s important to keep the team fresh."
Against the Lions, the Stormers' line-outs were a shambles and Coetzee said that overall the set-pieces were not "satisfactory".
"In our next game, we need to see a big improvement in our set-piece play.
"We will be up against a team (the Sharks) that knows how to put pressure on opposition's set piece. We need to get the fundamentals right."
The Stormers are unbeaten after three matches while the Sharks have managed a solitary win over the same period.