Lions not rushing back Whiteley
Cape Town - Lions captain Warren Whiteley won’t be rushed back into action, his coach Swys de Bruin has indicated.
Whiteley, who has been battling a knee injury this year, was originally named in the Lions touring squad for their Australasian tour and was expected to make his comeback against the Waratahs in Sydney last weekend.
However, he re-injured the knee in training shortly before the Lions’ departure to Australia and was a late withdrawal as he visited an orthopaedic surgeon in Johannesburg.
The Lions thumped the Waratahs 29-0 and are in Brisbane this week preparing for a clash against the Reds on Saturday.
De Bruin is confident that Whiteley will return to the playing field soon but couldn’t say whether the player would join the Lions on their tour.
After the Reds game, the Lions travel to New Zealand for games against the Hurricanes in Wellington (May 5) and Highlanders in Dunedin (May 12).
De Bruin said Whiteley’s availability for the Springboks takes priority over his franchise duties.
“Nothing has changed regarding Warren, so we’re waiting to see how he’s improved. The MRI scan shows there’s not much wrong. There is one minor thing that is proving an irritation, but I believe it’s just a matter of time before Warren is ready,” De Bruin said from Brisbane on Tuesday.
“I don’t know if we’ll get him back in time for the tour... but he is the Springbok captain and from a national perspective it’s important to me that he’s ready in the next few weeks.”
The Lions’ clash against the Reds kicks off at 07:05 (SA time) on Saturday.