Cape Town - As they gear up for Super Rugby, the Southern Kings are looking forward to the return to fitness of several key players.
The Port-Elizabeth-based franchise started their preparations for the new season last week, and on Monday announced that the first week of training had gone smoothly, without any new injury concerns.
Regarding players currently on the injured list, there was also welcome news.
Utility back Malcolm Jaer, who sustained a hamstring injury during his time with the Springbok Sevens side, is expected to be fully fit next week.
Injured players expected to make a return to action at the end of the month include flank Chris Cloete (knee), flank/lock Sintu Manjezi (knee), hooker Tango Balekile (shoulder), lock/flank Tyler Paul (shoulder) and centre/wing Wandile Mjekevu (foot).
Flank CJ Velleman (knee) is expected to make a full recovery in April.
The Kings will play two warm-up matches in the build-up to the start of the Super Rugby campaign.
They take on Border Bulldogs in East London on February 4 and then face the SWD Eagles at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on February 11.
They start their season-proper at home against the Jaguares on February 25.