Smith on the mend for RWC

2011-02-28 22:34

Jóhann Thormählen

Bloemfontein – There is a fairly good chance that Juan Smith may be able to recuperate in time for this year’s World Cup in New Zealand.

The Springbok flank underwent surgery to his Achilles on Monday after sustaining a partial tear of the tendon in Friday night’s Super Rugby match against the Bulls.

It is expected that the Cheetahs captain will be fit again in about six months.  He is expected to be ready for action in August.

The opening match of the World Cup is on September 9 and the Springboks play their first game against Wales on September 11.

It was initially feared that Smith’s Achilles tendon had been completely torn and that he would miss the showpiece altogether.

While Monday’s news was better than anticipated, Smith will be in a race against time to make the deadline for the selection of the Boks’ World Cup squad.

Cheetahs team doctor Ian Morris said that the operation went well and that things are looking encouraging for the Bok.

“We are planning on having him fit for the World Cup. There is definitely a chance that he can recover in time. If everything goes well, six months is not an unreasonable recovery period. He will be able to play in August and the World Cup starts at the beginning of September,” said Morris, who helped with the operation.

Smith will not train at all for the next two months and will start with rehabilitation after that period. If there are no further complications, he should be ready in August.

His injury so early in the Super Rugby season may well be a blessing in disguise for the Boks. Had it happened any later, he would definitely have been ruled out of the World Cup.

Meanwhile, the Cheetahs will not field Springbok flank Heinrich Brüssow against the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.

Brüssow made his return from a knee injury for Free State’s Vodacom Cup team against the Falcons last Friday.

He only played for 40 minutes after being on the sidelines for almost a year.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské said that Brüssow would run out again for Free State in a Vodacom Cup match against the Pumas on Saturday and is expected to be available for Super Rugby the following weekend.

More good news for the Cheetahs is that flank Frans Viljoen (hamstring) is only expected to be sidelined for a week. It was earlier thought that he would be sidelined for approximately four weeks.


  • RJ - 2011-02-28 22:43

    At least we can see I brussow go fetch a beer out of the fridge.. All this talk about fetching.

  • mike - 2011-02-28 22:57

    Awesome news, we better take him with match time or not!

  • Pierre - 2011-03-01 03:46

    Why bother about the 15th best flanker is SA?

  • seeps.mazi - 2011-03-01 07:38

    This is trully a blessing in disguise cos this guy will be fresh and steaming to get going at RWC, he should be taken with or without much game time - class always tells. Brussouw is another blessing as he's going to be hungry when he dons the green and gold. Just look at how Bismarck came back after injury and to a lesser degree The BEast after being sidelined for a bit last year. This is good news for SA rugby and possible back to back WC medals

  • The Dutchman - 2011-03-01 07:50

    Brilliant news for the boks, k@k news for the Cheetahs! Can the guy who get's the photos for Sport24 really not get a better picture of him in the new Cheetahs jersey or atleast a Springbok jersey? Why a warm up game photo? This is the same as the Strauss/Ebersohn debacle...

  • sonnyg - 2011-03-01 08:27

    Out for 6 months and then a month to get fit. Not chance he will be ready. You would be dumb to take a chance with a player with a achillies injury. Even though Smith is the best blindsider in world rugby its not worth taking a chance on him.

  • Ozman - 2011-03-01 09:44

    Player's that don't do a full body stretch-out for 30 minutes or more before each game have an increase risk of tendon injuries, especially Achilles tendon at the beginning of games, case in point, Matt Dunning the list goes on.

      BlackSwan - 2011-03-01 10:23


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