Muller fit for Cheetahs, but Mostert out for tour

2010-02-16 00:00

SPRINGBOK forward Johann Muller should be fit to face the Cheetahs in Friday night’s Super 14 game at King’s Park, but his second-row partner Gerhard Mostert is out of the tour to New Zealand and Australia.

Muller was injured in the opening seconds of Saturday night’s opener against the Chiefs and he returned after 10 minutes when his replacement, new signing Mostert, went down with a dislocated shoulder.

Muller left the field in the second half again and number eight Willem Alberts took over in the second-row.

Sharks team doctor Craig Roberts told The Witness yesterday that Muller’s injury is not serious.

“He tweaked a nerve in his shoulder and he is responding well to treatment.

“We are expecting him to be fit to play against the Cheetahs, but we’ll only a make call later in the week.”

Muller, a former Sharks captain, is playing his last season of Super 14 rugby before leaving Durban to join Ulster in July.

Mostert, who made his Sharks debut on Saturday, had an unhappy outing and lasted just a few minutes before he aggravated an old shoulder injury.

“He dislocated his shoulder, but we put it back in while he was in the medical room,” said Roberts. “The problem is that there is damage to the shoulder muscles and ligaments when this happens.”

Roberts said Mostert has previously had surgery on the shoulder.

“We are sending him back to the specialist in Pretoria who did the operation and we should know the extent of the damage later in the week. But we leave for New Zealand this weekend and he is out of the tour.”

Alistair Hargreaves, who toured with the Springboks late last year, is expected to be drafted into the squad as Mostert’s replacement on Friday night.

While there are no other injury problems in the squad it is expected that coach John Plumtree will make a couple of changes for the outing against the Cheetahs.

One could be at flyhalf where Ruan Pienaar, who took over from Monty Dumond for the closing quarter against the Chiefs, is likely to start.

Plumtree had been keen to use Pienaar back in his old position of scrumhalf this year, but the sudden departure of Juan Hernandez and Steve Meyer’s decision to quit rugby last week have left the Sharks coach with few options.

Plumtree might also consider including centre Adi Jacobs, another who is back from injury, in the midfield to improve the Sharks’ attacking game while Alberts, at number eight, may start ahead of Ryan Kankowski to beef up the back row against the strong Cheetahs loose trio.

The Cheetahs have lost centre Corné Uys to an ankle injury and Lionel Mapoe will move to from wing to the midfield to replace him.

The talented and lively Mapoe, who troubled the Bulls on a number of occasions on Friday night, was used in the midfield in a pre-season friendly and the Cheetahs coaching staff believe centre could become his natural position.

Danwel Demas will replace Mapoe on the wing.

Friday’s match kicks off at 5.30 pm at King’s Park.

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