Leolin Zas’ hopes of replicating teammate Damian Willemse’s miraculous comeback from injury for Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship final were ended after the wing learned he will have to undergo ankle surgery.
Zas limped off in the first half of the URC semi-final win over Ulster in Cape Town and was on crutches after the game, where the Stormers managed to snatch a late victory after the full-time hooter.
Speaking in the aftermath of the semi-final, John Dobson had already accepted that he would be without his top try-scorer for the URC grand final against the Vodacom Bulls in Cape Town.
“Zassie’s injury is a big blow for us. He won’t be available to play for us next week. He’s done well for us this year and that is a loss for us not to have him for the final.”
In the build-up to the semi-final, it was thought that Damian Willemse would be unavailable for the match, but he was passed fit at the 11th hour and named to start against Ulster at inside centre, producing a Man of the Match performance.
However, on Wednesday it was confirmed that Zas would have to undergo ankle surgery and the recovery period is expected to be around three months. This will end any hopes the 26-year-old had of making a late recovery for the final.
In terms of replacements, the Stormers will be looking to either Blitzbok star Angelo Davids or the more experienced Sergeal Petersen, who have both been playing in the Currie Cup for Western Province this season.
“We do have good wings available to us. We’ve got guys like Angelo Davids and Sergeal Petersen,” Dobson said.
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