Warriors captain Van Velze to miss Falcons encounter
NEWS: Former Blue Bulls and current Worcester Warriors captain Gerrit-Jan van Velze was given extended break to recover from a concussion.
Van Velze has suffered a series of concussions over the last year, with the latest coming in Warriors' clash against Saracens on the opening day of the Premiership season.
The 28-year-old has previously played for the Bulls in Super Rugby, making his franchise debut during the 2010 Super 14 season against the Crusaders. He also made 65 appearances for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup competitions.
The South African move to Worcester Warriors at the end of 2013/2014 Premiership season and is currently the captain of the Premiership side.
The captain, who has nine tries in 42 appearances for the club, will be given an extended break from normal player duties to allow him to fully recover as he will undergo the return-to-play concussion protocol over the coming weeks.
High Performance Director Nick Johnston said: "As a club, we have a duty of care over the athlete's well-being.
"The long-term welfare of the player is of utmost importance and even though [Van Velze] is desperate to play, we have to manage him correctly by looking after him.
"If a player returns too early before they have fully recovered, this may result in prolonged concussion symptoms and possible long-term health consequences so it's imperative that it is handled with due care and diligence.
"[Van Velze] has seen all the relevant specialists and having gone through the correct procedure, he is not yet ready to return to action.
"[Van Velze] still needs more time to recover and we will ensure that he goes through the correct protocol and when he is 100 per cent ready to return, we can reintegrate him back into the team.
"It is in the interests of both the player and the club that the situation is dealt with carefully and correctly,"
Not only will Worcester be without the captain, the side will also be without England centre Ben Te’o for their Premiership encounter against the Newcastle Falcons.
Te’o left the pitch at half-time after scoring a try and taking a bang on the head in Worcester’s 23-23 draw against Gloucester in their second match of the campaign.