Jacques Nienaber has revealed that Handre Pollard and Lukhanyo Am are on track to recover in time for the Springboks’ opening World Cup fixture.
Part of the three big omissions from the World Cup squad, Pollard and Am were left out of the World Cup 33 due to a calf and knee injury respectively.
However, the backline duo travelled to the UK with the Springboks for the World Cup warm-ups as part of the standby list.
There has been talk that the Springboks could yet include their 2019 World Cup general in their title defence, which Jacques Nienaber had to downplay before the team left South African shores.
After naming the team for the final warm-up against the All Blacks at Twickenham on Friday, Nienaber provided a positive update on the World Cup winners.
“Lukhanyo is probably about another two weeks away from being fit. Handre is on the edge of being fully fit, he just needs a lot of fitness,” said Nienaber.
“Handre isn’t in a return-to-train phase, which is where Lukhanyo is. Handre is in the return-to-play phase, so he is on his way back to playing. He is probably a week away from being declared ready to play, but will still need fitness.
“So, for example, Siya [Kolisi] has gone through his return to play protocol and he has started playing, but then his game time needs to be regulated, like it was [against Wales in Cardiff] over the weekend. He played 40 minutes under medical advice and hopefully this weekend, we can take him to 50 or maybe 60 minutes, but there will still be a cap on it.”
Nienaber confirmed that if there are no further injuries after the weekend, the players on the standby list will be sent back to their respective clubs.
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