You could see his value very clearly last year
He will be available for the start of the season, but the Cheetahs are anxiously waiting for the result of a scan on star flyhalf Johan Goosen.
Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie confirmed to this website that Goosen had a scan on Tuesday to determine what is still causing him discomfort when he kicks at goal.
While his knee surgery in October last year grabbed most of the headlines, a heel injury also caused him considerable discomfort - so much so that it affected his goal-kicking in the same Test against the All Blacks in Soweto where he injured the knee.
And while the knee rehabilitation has been a success, the Cheetahs medical staff suspect a bone fragment may be cause the discomfort on the heel when he lines up goal-kicks.
"We are still waiting for the result," Fourie told this website, when asked about the outcome of Goosen's scan.
"If you saw him at Monday's training session you would not have thought anything was wrong. He felt fine, but he wanted to make sure there are no [major] issues.
"He doesn't want to start playing and then suddenly find there's something amiss and needs fixing."
Fourie said that should it turn out there is a bone splinter and that it needs t to be removed, it will be a very minor procedure and would not keep him sidelined for long.
"That is the call they have to make," Fourie said, adding: "Even if they have to do the procedure, he will still be available for the game against the Sharks [in opening round on February 23]."
The Cheetahs backline mentor admitted that with their lack of depth Goosen is a key player.
"You could see [his value] very clearly in last year's Super Rugby competition [after he injured his shoulder against the Highlanders and missed the rest of the season], he is an incredible player and has a huge influence on the success of our team.
"That is why we want him 100 percent fit."
Fourie said they are waiting to name the team for Saturday's trip to Polokwane, and a pre-season outing against the Bulls, to hear if Goosen is available.
"[Centre] Robert Ebersohn is also struggling with as flu bug and stopped midway through Tuesday's training session.
"He has been booked off till Thursday and we'll have a look at him again, but there's a good chance he'll be available [to play against the Bulls on Saturday]."
If Goosen is ruled out of this week's encounter, the Cheetahs will fall back on one of Elgar Watts, Riaan Smit or Francois Brummer to wear the No.10 jersey against the Bulls.
By Jan de Koning