Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen has given an update on his injury situation, having had to undergo surgery on his ankle.
After travelling to Cape Town and undergoing scans, the severity of Vermeulen’s injury was confirmed and he is set for several weeks on the sidelines.
With the first Test taking place on 24 July, Vermeulen has less than seven weeks to recover if he hopes to fulfil a career goal of facing the Lions as a Springbok.
Posting on his social-media platforms for the first time since suffering the injury, Vermeulen uploaded an image of himself pre-surgery.
‘Not the wa[y] you want to leave the field in a tough North vs South derby but happy for my Bulls brothers for pulling it through in the end,’ Vermeulen wrote on his Instagram on Wednesday morning, with the hashtag ‘I’ll be back’.
Another photo on his Instagram story on Wednesday showed him in a hospital gown with the caption ‘here we goooo’.
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As it stands, the Springboks do have cover at No 8 in Jasper Wiese and Dan du Preez, who were included in the 46-man squad this past Saturday. Marcell Coetzee could be in line for a call-up should the need arise. Alternatively, the Springboks could opt to shift captain Siya Kolisi to No 8, with Jean-Luc du Preez coming in at openside flank.
Coetzee was left out of the 46-man squad, with both Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber highlighting the importance of Coetzee banking some more game time after also recently recovering from a long-term injury.