Mixed injury news for Boks

Francois Louw and Jannie du Plessis will miss next Saturday's Test against Argentina, but the Springboks could have Jean de Villiers, Fourie du Preez and Willem Alberts back.

Although Du Plessis (knee) and Louw (rotator cuff), along with Victor Matfield and JP Pietersen (hamstring injuries) will miss both matches against the Pumas, none of these injuries will put their World Cup participation at risk. The Bok medical team also remains optimistic that a fully fit squad will be available for the global event.

De Villiers, Du Preez and Alberts are three of seven players whose fitness will be assessed on Monday as they complete the final phase of rehabilitation, while players such as Duane Vermeulen and Coenie Oosthuizen are progressing well with their rehabilitation.

Vincent Koch and Warren Whiteley, who suffered rib cartilage injuries against the All Blacks last Saturday, should be fit and available for selection next weekend.

Jan Serfontein (hip and knee), Marcell Coetzee (knee), Pieter-Steph du Toit (knee) and Steven Kitshoff (knee) will also be assessed on Monday with a view to being available for selection against the Pumas.

Frans Steyn is recovering well from a pectoral muscle injury and could be ready to play Argentina in Buenos Aires, while Frans Malherbe has a bone bruise in the hip and will consult a specialist in Cape Town before being re-assessed next week in Durban.

'All of these players have worked hard during their rehabilitation and although we still have to put them through a final assessment on Monday after we’ve re-assembled in Durban, I’m hopeful that they should be fit to face Argentina in at least one of the two forthcoming Tests,' said Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts. 'We’re continuing to work very hard with Duane and Coenie and at this stage it’s looking very likely that we will have a full complement of players available for selection when the final squad for the World Cup is named at the end of August.'

Heyneke Meyer said that the national selectors may have to consider possible cover at tighthead if Koch and Malherbe are both ruled out of the Tests against Argentina, while the Bok coach welcomed Pieter-Steph du Toit's return to fitness.

'I’m very glad Pieter-Steph is back. He was in the selection frame last week but after consultation between our medical team and that of the Sharks, we decided to stick to the original plan regarding his return to play, which is that he will turn out for his province in a Currie Cup warm-up match on Friday.'

Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix 

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Mariette Adams