Cheetahs captain Ruan Pienaar is hopeful of returning to the field before the end of the year, while Stormers wing Sergeal Petersen could be sidelined for a while.
Pienaar was substituted in the 15th minute of the Cheetahs’ victory over the Vodacom Bulls last Friday after getting tackled by Marco van Staden and appearing to injure his knee.
He was replaced at scrumhalf by Tian Meyer, while Junior Pokomela took the captain’s armband and will continue as Cheetahs captain while Pienaar is sidelined.
There were fears that Pienaar’s season might have been done there, especially after he was seen on the sideline on crutches, with a likelihood of him having torn his anterior cruciate ligament ruling him out for the rest of the season.
However, the 36-year-old told Netwerk24 that his docter had confirmed that he has torn his medial cruciate ligament, a less serious injury with a much better recovery period.
‘I saw the doctor on Sunday and it was the medial cruciate ligament, as I expected. It’s not too serious, but it’s still not good news,’ Pienaar said.
‘There is still an outside chance that I could return before this next lot of fixtures [in Super Rugby Unlocked], hopefully before the end of the year or in the new year.
‘It’s not the end of the world, it’s just frustrating after we were away from the field for so long. It’s just part of the game,’ Pienaar added.
Meanwhile, the Stormers also had a couple of injury concerns following their narrow win over the Lions in their first match of the tournament on Saturday.
Petersen, who started on the right wing after recovering from a foot injury, had to be stretchered off after the half-time whistle and did not emerge during the second half. That forced Stormers coach John Dobson into a complicated shuffle, with Tim Swiel making his debut off the bench at flyhalf causing Damian Willemse to move to fullback and Warrick Gelant to the wing.
Speaking after the game, Dobson confirmed that Petersen could be sidelined for a significant period of the domestic season.
‘It is a significant quad injury. He felt it go,’ Dobson said. ‘It is a serious injury and he will be out for a while.’
Stormers fans would have also been concerned after Willemse had to be taken off the field by the medical golf cart at the end of the match, but Dobson had good news about the flyhalf.
‘He has got a hematoma, what we in the old days used to call a lammie, but he should be OK. He is walking around the change room.’
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