Cape Town - Two injured players in the Springbok training squad, Frans Steyn and Pieter-Steph du Toit, have been temporarily released from the squad to continue their rehabilitation in Durban for the next few weeks.
Neither of them are expected to be fit for the Springboks’ first two matches of the season, against the World XV in Cape Town next Saturday and a week later against Australia in Brisbane.
Steyn has a pectoral muscle tear, while Du Toit is recovering from a knee injury.
According to Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer the decision to send Steyn and Du Toit home was taken with the best interests of the players in mind.
“We’ve discussed the way forward with the players and all of us agreed that the best way forward at this stage is for them to get full-time rehabilitation at their home province, while our own medical team will keep very close tabs on their progress,” said Meyer.
“Both of them are still firmly in our plans going forward for the season and I really hope they can get back onto the field sooner rather than later. I’m confident the individual attention they will receive in Durban will be a massive benefit to them in the long run.
“We won’t be taking Frans or Pieter-Steph with us to Australia and will reassess their situation when we return from Brisbane.”
Two other injured players, Fourie du Preez (knee) and Duane Vermeulen (neck), will continue to do the bulk of their rehabilitation work with the Springbok squad.
Vermeulen was sent to Durban on Thursday to obtain another specialist opinion on his injury, but the final results will only be available at a later stage.
The other injured players who will remain with the squad, are Heinrich Brüssow (arm), Schalk Burger (groin), Lood de Jager (elbow), Willem Alberts (ankle), Cobus Reinach (hand), Jean de Villiers (knee), Patrick Lambie (neck), Lionel Mapoe (knee) and Jan Serfontein (hip and knee).
Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts said: “Most of these players are able to partake in field sessions, even though some of them can only do certain segments of the training and we’re hoping to have them ready for selection sooner rather than later.
“A final decision on their availability for the match against the World XV will be taken on Monday, but it’s looking positive that a number of them will be declared fit for our season opener.”