Kings confident Cronje will face Sharks
Lionel Cronje (Gallo Images)
Port Elizabeth - Following a restful bye week, the Southern Kings are pleased with the progress being made by players on the injury list ahead of the side’s Super Rugby encounter with the Sharks at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Team doctor, Konrad von Hagen, indicated on Monday that the squad’s injured players were on track on their road to recovery.
In the Southern Kings’ 44-3 win over the Melbourne Rebels a fortnight ago, captain Lionel Cronje was replaced in the second half after sustaining a concussion.
Following a full week’s rest, the flyhalf is following the mandatory return-to-play protocol, and after early assessments the team doctor is confident the pivot will get the green light on Thursday for selection for the match against the Sharks.
“Lionel has shown good signs. While he is undergoing the return-to-play protocol, he has shown good signs that he could be available for selection on Thursday,” Von Hagen said.
Further good news for the Southern Kings is the return of hard-working flanker CJ Velleman from a knee injury which kept him out of action for a lengthy period.
The 22-year-old joined the rest of the Southern Kings squad at full training on Monday.
“CJ Velleman has joined our full contact sessions this week. We will continue to look at his progress this week until Thursday and we might get him involved with the SuperSport Rugby Challenge squad to get 20 or 30 minutes of game time. Depending on how he gets through that, then we will revisit his position going forward,” head coach Deon Davids confirmed on Monday.
“We will definitely not rush him back. We want to allow him to get game fit and to get his confidence back. We will listen to the advice of the medical staff and make our decisions accordingly.”
Von Hagen also confirmed that season captain, Schalk Ferreira, has been making good progress with his biceps injury sustained earlier in the year, and is expected to be fit in time for the last three matches of the season.
It was also confirmed that hooker, Michael Willemse, who was rushed to hospital last week for an emergency operation to remove his appendix, is also expected back in action for the last three matches of the season.
Lock Cameron Lindsay, who has been out of action this season with a knee injury, is expected to be ready to join the team’s full contact training session by the end of next week.
The Southern Kings medical team is also happy with the progress being made by scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen (ankle) and wing-cum-fullback Malcolm Jaer (hamstring), while a close eye is being kept on No 8 Ruaan Lerm, who is nursing an ankle injury.
Justin Forwood remains on the long-term injury list with a knee injury that will rule him out of action for nine months.