That’s the risk you take with these friendly matches
The Stormers are anxiously awaiting news on the fitness of Eben Etzebeth after the lock limped off with an injury during the pre-season friendly against Boland on Saturday.
The young Springbok second row behemoth left the field after injuring his ankle during the first half of the warm-up match – played at the Cape Town Stadium and won 57-0 by the Stormers.
A concerned Allister Coetzee said they will have more clarity on the severity of the injury on Sunday.
“We are all a bit nervous about Eben’s ankle strain. He will go for a scan tonight or tomorrow morning to determine the extent of the injury,” Coetzee said at the post-match press conference.
The Stormers coach said the injury occurred when Etzebeth landed awkwardly after a line-out, adding he is “preparing for the worst.”
“That’s the nature of the beast,” he said.
“I think last night Keegan Daniel got an AC joint injury and Tim Whitehead broke his arm [during the Sharks’ friendly against the Leopards]. That’s the risk you take with these friendly matches,” Coetzee said.
Coetzee said what is comforting is the fact that they have sufficient depth in the pack should the 2012 SARU Young Player of the Year be sidelined.
Touching on his options, and the performance of flank Rynhard Elstadt, Coetzee said, “He [Elstadt] doesn’t hold back at all. He was firing at 120 miles per hour and that’s good should Eben not be able to make it for the first game that there are options at four with Michael Rhodes, Deon Fourie going to six, Duane [Vermeulen] playing at eight and Martin [Bezuidenhout] starting at two, so it’s pleasing to know we’ve got the depth.”
Coetzee said Damian de Allende took a knock to the shin but stressed that the centre, along with the rest of the matchday squad, is fine.
Coetzee said they would also reassess Schalk Burger on Sunday following the news earlier this week that the Springbok veteran’s calf injury had worsened.
“We’ll see tomorrow. We’ll start with the physio and put him through his paces and he’ll join us for team training if everything goes well with the calf,” Coetzee said.
“He sounds positive. He’s here with the team and he can’t wait to run on with the team. He’s been out for a whole year and he’s still sitting out so you can imagine how he feels but when he’s ready he will play.”
Coetzee added that Elton Jantjies would rejoin the squad on Sunday.