Bekker's Stormers career over?

Tue, 21 May 2013 18:59
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Andries Bekker's career at the Stormers may well have come to a premature end as he joined the Cape franchise's ever-increasing injury list.

Andries Bekker's career at the Stormers may well have come to a premature end as he joined the Cape franchise's ever-increasing injury list.

Bekker and fellow Springbok Juan de Jongh were the latest additions to the Stormers’ injury list, ahead of Saturday’s clash with the Reds at Newlands.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee on Tuesday confirmed that the star pair face time on the sidelines, as do props Frans Malherbe and Pat Cilliers and utility forward Deon Fourie.

Bekker has been ruled out of the June Tests against Italy and Scotland because of ongoing back problems.

It is unsure if he will return for the Stormers' matches in July, after which he will head to Japan.

It means he may well have played his last match for the Cape Town-based outfit.

Meanwhile De Jongh will miss the Stormers’ next two fixtures after suffering a fractured finger.

“Andries will probably be out for six to eight weeks with a grade one tear in the disk between his vertebra,” said Coetzee.

“Andries has had back problems in the past and if it had been a similar injury it would be a case of managing him but it’s not.

“Juan de Jongh has a fracture in his ring finger that’s pretty high up in the joint so he will be out for a minimum of three weeks while Deon Fourie has fractured ribs so he’s also looking at two to three weeks.”

Malherbe and Cilliers both suffered ankle injuries and will subsequently be unavailable for the Springboks, with Malherbe set to undergo surgery on Wednesday.

“Frans Malherbe will be operated on tomorrow. He’s torn his syndesmosis ligament completely off and will be out for at least 10 weeks,” said Coetzee.

“Pat Cilliers also has an ankle injury, fortunately not a syndesmosis, but it’s a grade two ligament tear so you’re looking at a minimum of six weeks.”

Following the latest spate of injuries, Coetzee has drafted lock Marius Coetzer into the squad.

“Fortunately a player like Marius Coetzer, who’s played over a hundred first-class games and a number of Super Rugby games for the Lions, was available,” said Coetzee.

“He’s been selected for the SA President’s XV who were training in Cape Town and I was able to draft him.”

Coetzee added that Siyabonga Ntubeni, who withdrew from the match against the Melbourne Rebels after pulling his hamstring at the captain's run, will miss the weekend’s homecoming game.
 
“We’re confident that Scarra could make it but it’s a grade two hamstring tear so it’s longer than the normal 10-day period,” he said.

Fit-again Tiaan Liebenberg trained with the squad on Tuesday and looks set to feature in the matchday 22 against the Reds.

 “He will make a difference. It was good to hear his voice again at training. His rehab went well, he’s trained well… he’s leaner. There’s a big chance for him to be in the 22 and there’s no reason why he couldn’t start,” said Coetzee.

The Stormers coach said he was hopeful to welcome back lock De Kock Steenkamp from a chest injury for next weekend’s match against the Southern Kings.
 
Utility forwards Michael Rhodes (ankle) and Rynhardt Elstadt (knee) could return in time for the return fixture against the Kings in Port Elizabeth on July 6 while No.8 Duane Vermeulen (knee) is “touch and go” for the team’s last regular season game against the Bulls on July 13.

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