The Blue Bulls are expecting a host of key players to return from injury in the next few weeks to bolster their resources for the Currie Cup.
Flyhalf Lionel Cronje has been declared fit following successful rehabilitation of his pectoral muscle and will be available for the Blue Bulls's first Currie Cup match against the Griquas whilst there are a host of players who will be back to full fitness the following week.
Johann Sadie (ankle), Jean Cook (knee), Chiliboy Ralepelle (knee) and Dewald Potgieter (shoulder) are all recovering from their respective injuries and could still be out of action for at least two weeks and hence miss the opening match against Griquas.
In more positive injury news for the Pretoria team wing Bjorn Basson will return to South Africa on Wednesday following his successful recovery from an operation in Christchurch.
Basson injured his intestines during the Super Rugby play-off match between the Bulls and Crusaders and was kept in hospital in New Zealand after undergoing an operation to repair the damage.
"Bjorn has recovered well and is on his way back," Bulls team doctor, Org Strauss confirmed on Monday.
Basson (6-8 weeks) and Fudge Mabeta (8-12 weeks, knee) are the only long term casualties in the Blue Bulls squad at present.
* Meanwhile Grant Hattingh will start on the bench for the Blue Bulls when they take on the Golden Lions in a friendly at Wits University on Friday.
Hattingh had a short term Super Rugby contract with the Lions, but moved north at the completion of their fixtures and Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar included him in the squad of 26 players that will play their first warm-up fixture on Friday.
Pienaar also included the likes of Deon Stegmann, Rossouw de Klerk and Lionel Cronjè - all players who were injured for most of the season and will benefit from the game time provided ahead of the Currie Cup season.
A couple of current Under-21 players, like Ulrich Beyers, Arno Botha and Wiaan Liebenberg, have also been included, indicating Pienaar's intention to use them during the upcoming Currie Cup campaign.
Blue Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Clayton Blommetjies, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Mornè Mellett, 17 Robbie Coetzee, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Grant Hattingh, 21 Warwick Tecklenburg, 22 Wiaan Liebenberg, 23 Ruan Snyman, 24 Lionel Cronjè, 25 Adri Jacobs, 26 Jerome Pretorius.