Pieter-Steph du Toit will return to Springbok training on Monday afternoon, but Elton Jantjies is only set to take contact on Thursday. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Du Toit has made a faster than expected recovery from a hamstring strain. On Monday, team doctor Conrad von Hagen confirmed that he was entering the final phase of his rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, Von Hagen said Jantjies was feeling comfortable with a custom-made brace that would protect the fractured finger on his right hand, but that the Bok medical team will err on the side of caution when it comes to his participation in contact training this week.
It would appear that both Du Toit and Jantjies could be in contention for this Saturday’s first Test against Ireland if they come through training well this week, but regardless of that, Lood de Jager and Pat Lambie may start.
‘Both Pieter-Steph and Elton will be assessed closely this week,’ Von Hagen commented. ‘Elton will take part in some skills training, but he won’t take contact yet. We’ll see how he progresses in the week, but we don’t want to take the risk that something happens in a contact session too soon. Pieter-Steph has been recovering well and he can begin to take some part in our training today [Monday].’
Von Hagen said prop Trevor Nyakane and Lionel Mapoe had overcome a shoulder and back injury respectively, and would be able to train fully.
He also confirmed that Jan Serfontein had gone for scans in Pretoria, and that a scaphoid bone fracture had been confirmed in his wrist, which would rule the centre out of action for four months.
Although the fact has been questioned that Serfontein apparently joined the Bok camp with the injury, Von Hagen explained how the serious nature of the fracture had been uncovered.
‘Jan sustained the injury in Super Rugby two weeks ago. They [the Bulls] did an initial x-ray and that showed nothing serious, but that’s the problem with the scaphoid bone, it sometimes doesn’t always show up if it’s just a little crack. We then followed up and did a CT scan when he wasn’t responding the way we wanted him to, and that confirmed the fracture.’
The Springboks will train in Belhar on Monday afternoon, and will be conducting a meet-and-greet session with fans after the open practice.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images