S’bu Nkosi will be eased back into training next week as he comes to the end of his rehabilitation for an ankle injury, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
After impressing for the Boks against England in June, Nkosi suffered a syndesmosis sprain on his left ankle during the latter stages of Super Rugby.
Although Makazole Mapimpi has filled in capably for Nkosi at the start of the Rugby Championship, he’s also unfortunately had to leave prematurely in the last two Test matches.
Last Saturday, Mapimpi aggravated a knee injury that has now forced him to return home from Australia, which has left the Boks short of one specialist wing ahead of this Saturday’s crunch clash against the All Blacks in Wellington.
Cheslin Kolbe or perhaps Jesse Kriel will do a job on the wing in all likelihood this weekend, while it will then be interesting to see how Nkosi may be reintegrated into the Bok squad.
Nkosi would surely benefit from a Currie Cup game or two before being rushed back into Test action, but the Boks could certainly do with his services as soon as possible.
The Sharks confirmed to SARugbymag.co.za that the plan is for Nkosi to be slowly reintegrated into training next week, and it will be interesting to see whether he is deemed ready to face the Golden Lions in a Currie Cup clash next Saturday.
If so, the Boks may well be tempted to then draft Nkosi back into the mix for the home Tests against Australia and New Zealand on 29 September and 6 October.
Mapimpi isn’t likely to be back before the end of the Rugby Championship, while it remains to be seen whether Willie le Roux will indeed link up with his English club Wasps after this weekend.
Should that be the case, Kolbe may well be considered as the starting option at fullback, leaving the Boks further in need of a boost on the wing.
Either way, the news that Nkosi is nearing a return to action will be welcomed by the Boks and Sharks.
Photo: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP