Habana faces lengthy lay-off

Sat, 09 Mar 2013 20:00
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Stormers wing Bryan Habana has torn the medial collateral ligament in his left knee and is likely to be out of rugby for 10 weeks.

Stormers wing Bryan Habana has torn the medial collateral ligament in his left knee and is likely to be out of rugby for 10 weeks.

Habana was carried off on a motorised stretcher during the Stormers 36-34 win over the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday and was immediately taken for a scan to establish the extent of his injury.

Speaking to the media after the game, Stormers coach Allister Coetzee commented: "The news on Bryan is not too good. He has done his MCL and very conservatively speaking, he'll be out for 10 weeks.

"When I say conservatively speaking, he could be playing in the seventh week, but [we expect] him to be out for 10 weeks.

"It's his left knee this time; last year he had a similar injury in the Currie Cup final with the right knee."

However, Coetzee felt that the Stormers had quality replacements to cover the loss of Habana.

"When you lose a Springbok and a quality player like Bryan it's never an ideal situation, but we're getting Jaco Taute back and Gerhard van den Heever played very very well when he came on, and Gio Aplon played just as well so we have enough replacements there.

"We wish Bryan well for a speedy recovery and when he returns he'll be back in the mix, but our focus is fully on the replacements now," said Coetzee.

Habana was the Stormers only injury concern from the game against the Chiefs, said the coach, with Rynhardt Elstadt having been replaced only because he was cramping.

The coach added that Eben Etzebeth and Scarra Ntubeni would be back by the beginning of April in time to be available for the Stormers tour to Australia and New Zealand. Schalk Burger was training well but the coach said he was a disinclined to predict when he would be playing again.

By Len Kaplan

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