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Bekker was destined to break down

Wed, 30 May 2012 15:01
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Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes that he could not have managed broken-down Andries Bekker's recurring back injury any better.

The star lock has been ruled out for five weeks, which means that he will miss out on Springbok selection once again thanks to the injury which sidelined him for most of last year.

Coetzee explained that Bekker has been struggling with the injury ever since he was forced to leave the field in the match against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

"We have tried to manage Andries all season. He had a back operation last year and a back problem and in the game against the Crusaders he did his back again there.

"We have tried to manage Andries, we have tried to managed his training time and his game time but I suppose it wasn't good enough and he is at the point where he can't cope with the workload," he said.

The Stormers coach said that the medical staff in Cape Town need to go through a similar process to what they went through with the towering lock in pre-season to get him on the field for the ten games he played in this year.

"The first answer I got from the medical team is that it will definitely be five weeks becasue they did the same thing in the pre-season with Andries.

"They had the same thing and he could sustain almost ten from twelve games with the way that we have managed him, so after these five weeks they will re-assess and see again so hopefully he will be available later in the competition for us," said Coetzee.

Bekker has been plagued by injury for most of his career, and last played for the Springboks in July 2010, with injury ending every season early since then.

Coetzee said that Bekker's lanky 2.08m frame and the position he plays put extra strain on his body which means that he will always have to be carefully managed.

"It is to be understood for a tall guy like that for whom line-out work is a specialist position, what they call the pounding on his feet is the contributing factor to it.

"We have been looking at his time spent on his feet, Andries has not played a full 80 minutes this season although he could have, and that was part of managing him. Even at training he has been the only player who doesn't train in all the sessions," he said.

The Stormers coach dismissed suggestions that the injury-prone Bekker could have been handled better this year, and said that he did not want to speculate on how the injury will develop in the long-term.

"I have done the best I can, and I think Andries would be the first to say that he couldn't have been managed better.

"I don't want to talk about long-term but I am always a positive person and hopefully Andries can come back even stronger," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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