Etzebeth update: Stormers have 'no guarantees'
Cape Town - The Stormers are hoping to have Eben Etzebeth available for their final Super Rugby match before the June international break.
The towering lock forward, who captained the Springboks for the majority of last year, has been absent for the Capetonians in 2018 as he continues his recovery from the shoulder injury he picked up on international duty against Wales in November.
It has been a long road back for Etzebeth, and while he is running at full tilt and is involved in most of the training drills in the Stormers camp currently, he needs to build more muscle in his left arm before he can be considered for a return.
A look at the size of his left bicep compared to that of his right tells you all you need to know, and that muscle generation is what is currently keeping Etzebeth sidelined.
If he does come back before June, it will be for the Stormers' clash against the Lions at Newlands on May 26.
"Four weeks is the estimate but because of the nature of the injury‚ it all depends on how it reacts on a day to day basis‚" coach Robbie Fleck said ahead of his side's trip to Durban for Saturday's clash against the Sharks.
"Eben is feeling positive and the medical staff are encouraged by the improvements they’ve seen in the past couple of weeks, but it all depends on how the injury continues to respond to rehabilitation.
"It’s not something we can rush and it’s not a quick fix. It was a long-term injury and it was a severe one.
"Eben is pretty positive but there are no guarantees."
Kick-off in Durban on Saturday is at 17:15.
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha (captain), 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Juan Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Louis Screuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 SP Marais, 23 JJ Engelbrecht