Du Preez limps off for the season

2011-05-24 00:00

THE Bulls were dealt a massive blow when it was confirmed yesterday that their Springbok scrumhalf, Fourie du Preez, will miss the rest of the season’s league fixtures, and may also be unfit in time for the playoffs, should the Bulls make it.

Du Preez limped off the field during Saturday’s victory over the Sharks in Durban after a freak collision with prop Werner Kruger, and it was confirmed yesterday that he has a grade two medial ligament tear that will keep him out of action for at least 4-6 weeks.

The injury couldn’t come at a worse time for the Bulls, who have finally found the momentum they need for a late charge towards the Super Rugby playoffs, with Du Preez the general in charge of their run.

Team doctor Org Strauss confirmed that Du Preez is likely to miss the team’s remaining regular season fixtures, and admitted they were “hoping for him to return in the playoffs.”

“Fourie has a grade two injury to his medial ligaments on his right knee,” Strauss said.

“He will be out of action for between four and six weeks and is very lucky that his knee didn’t sustain more damage.

“We expect him to react positively to rehabilitation and conservative treatment to the knee and to be back in action shortly.”

The Bulls luckily have another Springbok in Francois Hougaard available in Du Preez’s absence, but will miss the Springbok halfback’s pinpoint kicking game and decision making on the field.

With the Springboks wanting their best available side ready for the Rugby World Cup, Du Preez may be given extra time to recover ahead of the tournament in New Zealand in September.

Besides Du Preez’s knee, the Bulls managed to escape their bruising encounter in Durban relatively injury -ree as they begin preparations to face the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Bulls will need to win all of their remaining matches if they want to feature in the playoffs, after a poor start to the season where they lost five early games.

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