Duane ‘unlikely’ to face Sharks

Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen will visit a neurosurgeon on Monday to determine the severity of a neck injury. JON CARDINELLI reports.

Vermeulen sustained a neck injury in the Stormers captains’ run on Friday. The No 8 was subsequently withdrawn from the match between the Stormers and Lions.

Following the 19-19 draw at Newlands on Saturday, Stormers team doctor Jason Suter attended the the press conference and provided an update on Vermeulen’s condition. While nothing is certain at this point, Suter expects Vermeulen to miss the Stormers’ final league clash against the Sharks.

‘Duane suffered from a severe neck spasm after the captain's practice on Friday,’ said Suter. ‘We did an MRI that showed he had a bulging disc at the C5 level. The disc is bulging onto the nerve root, and that is causing intense spasm. Based on that, he was removed from the game [against the Lions] because he was not functional.

‘In terms of a prognosis, and in terms of his management, it's too early for us to say what that management is going to be. At the moment, he has no neurological symptoms that require urgent intervention.

‘The next 24 hours will tell us a lot in terms of how we are going to manage him, and how long his recovery time will be. He will see a neurosurgeon on Monday, and we have already begun the assessment process by forwarding Duane's scans on.

‘He's very unlikely to play against the Sharks, and we're aiming [to have him back] for the play-offs,’ Suter added.

Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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