Bulls still without Pollard

Handré Pollard is one of several players that will be unavailable for the Bulls' Super Rugby match against the Sharks in Durban on Friday.

Pollard made his return to action from a lengthy injury absence in the Blue Bulls' Provincial Challenge Cup game against the Valke on 9 June, and was drafted into the South Africa A squad for the second and final match against the French Barbarians last Friday.

However, Pollard was withdrawn from the SA A match 23 due to injury, and the Bulls' team doctor Herman Rossouw has since confirmed that Pollard's return has been compromised because of inflammation to his injured ankle.

'We will keep him out this week. His ankle isn't where it should be right now. He picked up a small inflammation while with the SA A side,' Rossouw commented. 'He came through his rehab well and we were 100% happy with him. Those 60 minutes he played in the Provincial Challenge Cup, he looked solid and came through well. It may be that his workload these past few weeks has led to the inflammation.'

In other injury news, Jade Stighling suffered a broken nose in the Rugby Challenge match against the Lions last Friday, while Rabs Maxwane sustained a concussion. Their injuries are in addition to the absence of wingers Jamba Ulenga and Travis Ismaiel, who are both nursing knee injuries.

Furthermore, hooker Edgar Marutlulle has been ruled out for six weeks after he underwent corrective surgery for an ankle injury he sustained at the Mauritius 10s. The other players who have been ruled out of Friday's game against the Sharks are captain Hanro Liebenberg (ankle), Ulrich Beyers (calf), Piet van Zyl (lung infection), Martin Dreyer (ankle), Hendre Stassen (knee) and Johnny Kotze (knee).

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams