Kings hopeful of captain's fitness
INJURY UPDATE: The Southern Kings are hopeful of having captain Lionel Cronje available when their season resumed against the Sharks this week.
Following their bye week, Kings team doctor Konrad von Hagen said on Monday said that Cronje could be in line to face the Sharks at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium his coming Saturday.
Cronje suffered concussion in the Kings' 44-3 win over the Melbourne Rebels a fortnight ago.
Following a week's rest, the flyhalf is now following the mandatory return-to-play protocol.
In the wake of an early assessment, the team doctor is confident the pivot will get the green light on Thursday for selection for the match against the Sharks.
"Lionel has shown good signs," Von Hagen said.
"While he is undergoing the return-to-play protocol, he has shown good signs that he could be available for selection on Thursday."
Further good news for the Southern Kings is the return of hard-working flank Cyril-John Velleman from a knee injury - which kept him out of action for a lengthy period.
The 22-year-old joined the rest of the Southern Kings squad at full training on Monday.
"CJ [Velleman] has joined our full contact sessions this week," coach Deon Davids said.
"We will continue to look at his progress this week until Thursday and we might get him involved with the Eastern Province Kings squad to get 20 or 30 minutes of game time [in the new domestic inter-provincial challenge].
"Depending on how he gets through that, then we will revisit his position going forward.
"We will definitely not rush him back. We want to allow him to get game fit and to get his confidence back. We will listen to the advice of the medical staff and make our decisions accordingly."
Von Hagen also confirmed that Schalk Ferreira, named the captain for the season, has been making good progress with the bicep injury he sustained earlier in the year and is expected to be fit in time for the last three matches of the season.
It was also confirmed that hooker Michael Willemse, who was rushed to hospital last week for an emergency operation to remove his appendix, is also expected back in action for the last three matches of the season.
Lock Cameron Lindsay, who has been out of action this season with a knee injury, is expected to be ready to join the team's full contact training session by the end of next week.
The Southern Kings medical team is also happy with the progress being made by scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen (ankle) and wing-cum-fullback Malcolm Jaer (hamstring), while a close eye is being kept on No.8 Ruaan Lerm, who is nursing an ankle injury.
Justin Forwood remains on the long-term injury list with a knee injury that will rule him out of action for nine months.