Coenie: Concerned Cheetahs cautious
Coenie: Concerned Cheetahs cautiousSHARE
Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen's ongoing neck problems will sideline him for at least another week.
Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie confirmed that they are taking a "conservative" approach with his rehabilitation and the 14-times capped Bok will not play against the Crusaders in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The 25-year-old front row forward returned home early from the Cheetahs' tour of Australasia, after suffering a neck injury for the third time in the past two years.
However, the team's medical and coaching staff does not believe it is career threatening, but admitted to having some concern about the repetitive nature of the injury.
Fourie said Dan Hugo, the doctor who is looking after him, said last week Oosthuizen must wait another two weeks before he starts playing.
"He sat out last week and will miss this week's game against the Crusaders," Fourie told this website.
"He should be available when we play the Sharks [in Durban] next week [April 19]."
The Cheetahs' assistant said there was a feeling that he could have played two weeks ago, but keeping him back is more a "precaution" than any serious issues that may still be lingering.
Because it is the same neck injury as the previous two occasions when he was sidelined there is some concern.
"Any front row forward will be concerned if he struggles with a neck injury, especially Coenie – who is sidelined for the third time in the past 18 months," Fourie told this website.
"It will be something that will be in the back of his mind.
"Front row forwards are in a position where neck injuries are part of the game, but it is concerning that he's had three neck injuries of the same nature.
"However, we are confident he will make a full recovery and be fine."
The flipside is that it was not serious enough to warrant surgery or rule him out for a very long time and it was less serious that the two previous incidents.
Fourie said he is not a medical expert, but the doctor certainly hasn't indicated to the coaching staff that it will have long-term implications on his career.
But they have to accept that a front row who have constant neck injuries will have some issues later on.
The Cheetahs have no new injuries from last week's dramatic 43-all draw against the Chiefs and will go into the Round Nine encounter with the Crusaders with the same squad.
The starting 22 will be finalised on Wednesday.
By Jan de Koning