Injury ravaged Cheetahs await Stormers
INJURY UPDATE: They say it never rains, but it pours. That certainly rings true for Cheetahs coach Franco Smith.
The June break has not been good for the troubled Bloemfontein-based franchise.
With their future to be revealed in a few weeks, the Cheetahs will enter the last three weeks of the Super Rugby league stages with a host of injures.
Smith, speaking to rugby365 in the build-up to Saturday's encounter with the Stormers, said they suffered a host of disruptive injuries.
"Tuesday [lock] Carl Wegner fractured his eye socket in training and will be sidelined for 10 to 15 days," the coach said.
"[Hooker] Torsten [van Jaarsveld] injured his neck playing for Namibia [in June] and will be sidelined for six to eight weeks.
"[Hooker Jacques du Toit was injured playing for the Cheetahs in the Mauritius 10s and will be sidelined for four to five weeks.
"[Wing] Rosko Specman was also injured in the 10s.
"[Scrumhalf] Shaun Venter was injured against the Sunwolves and will be sidelined for another three weeks.
"[Centre] Nico Lee has not fully recovered from his injury and [flank] Tier [Paul] Schoeman has not recovered from the deep vein thromboses he suffered on tour [in New Zealand]."
Lock Francois Uys is also leaving for France this week - leaving the Cheetahs very depleted up front.
The good news is that Springbok loose forward Teboho Mohoje, who is busy following his return to play protocol after suffering concussion in the second Test between South Africa and France, should be available to face the Stormers.
The Cheetahs may well look at the BlitzBok trio of Cecil Afrika‚ Chris Dry and Rosko Specman to fill some of the gaps - after they started training with the Bloemfontein outfit - whom they will represent in the Currie Cup competition this year.
By Jan de Koning