Both Schalk Burger and centre Juan de Jongh have been ruled out of Saturday’s game against Boland and must be causing coach Allister Coetzee some heartburn
Loose forward Burger, recently named Stormers skipper for the season ahead of Bok skipper Jean de Villiers, missed the weekend’s friendly against the Cheetahs as a result of calf tightness, but it has since been “Up-graded” to a strained a muscle and could find himself on the sidelines for the next two weeks.
The obvious concern has to be whether the Cape talisman has indeed recovered from the knee injury that forced him out for the entire season last year. Much like Coenie Oosthuizen’s neck and back injuries in 2012, the question has to be whether these two injuries are related?
Only time will tell, but Coetzee will be popping the Rennies until that question is answered …
Adding to the potential white chalky pill intake, is the fact that centre De Jongh picked up a hamstring strain against the Cheetahs, and he too will be out of action for two weeks.
The injuries could rule both players out of the running for the Stormers’ opening Super Rugby game against the Bulls at Loftus on Friday, February 22.
Also on the crocked list is Michael Rhodes, who did himself a mischief while warming up for the Cheetahs match.
Backliners Gio Aplon and Jaco Taute are both down with flu, but they are in the running for places in the team to face Boland.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee again emphasised that players who did not participate in any of the warm-ups matches would not be considered for the Bulls’ clash.
No wonder people say this tournament is about survival rather than skill and talent …