Port Elizabeth - The Southern Kings have suffered a blow with the news that flyhalf Oliver Zono was injured in their 45-21 PRO14 home loss to the Cheetahs at the weekend.
Kings team doctor Clement Plaatjies said Zono had injured his knee in the local derby at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
"Oliver has damaged his knee but we'll only be able to confirm the severity of the injury after further examination and scans have been completed. I suspect there's ligament and meniscal damage and if that's the case then he will be unavailable for selection for quite a while," Plaatjies said via a press statement released on Monday.
There was, however, some positive news with regards to lock Stephan Greeff.
"We've stitched up the cut above his eye and confirmed there's no concussion so he will be available for this weekend's game. A few of the other players like Rowan Gouws (scrumhalf) and Bobby de Wee (lock) also reported a few minor knocks but nothing that will affect team selection for the Cheetahs fixture," the doctor added.
Plaatjies also confirmed that prop Entienne Swanepoel has returned to full training after six weeks out with a knee injury. "I will just confirm with a specialist that he can return to competitive action but he is showing no ill effects. Fellow front-rower Rossouw de Klerk is due to see an orthopaedic specialist today as a precaution as he has been struggling with his knee. We'll be able to report on his prognosis later," said Plaatjies.
Meanwhile, loose forward Dries van Schalkwyk will also not be available for this weekend’s return fixture against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein as he is still serving a mandatory non-contact period after breaking his nose.
Regarding the long-term injuries to prop Justin Forwood and flank CJ Velleman, Plaatjies said that in both cases the players were responding well to treatment and their rehabilitation was going "100% according to plan".
The Kings gave lost all 12 of their PRO14 games to date.