Ruan Pienaar out for three weeks

2009-05-19 00:00

RUAN Pienaar and Frans Steyn, the injured Sharks backs, should be fit to face the touring British Lions in the three-Test series starting at King’s Park in a month.

Pienaar, Bok coach Peter de Villiers’ first-choice flyhalf for the series, received assistance and was in ob­vious pain as he limped from the field with an ankle injury late in Saturday night’s Super 14 game against the Bulls in Durban.

Sharks doctor Craig Roberts said last night that Pienaar’s ankle had been scanned “and the news is good”.

“He has a grade two sprain of the ankle ligament and that should keep him out for about three weeks.

“We are hoping to have him ready for the British Lions Test and perhaps even the Sharks-Lions game in Durban on June 10 if that is what the coaches [of the Sharks and Boks] want.”

Pienaar only returned from a se­ven-week injury break for a knee ligament strain a fortnight ago, and his lack of high quality match practice will obviously be a concern if he is rushed back into the Test arena.

With the back-up, World Cup-winning, flyhalf Butch James out for eight months following knee surgery in London, the in-form Bulls’ Morne Steyn has now emerged as the most likely replacement.

Roberts said Sharks utility back Frans Steyn’s recovery, also from knee ligament injury, had been rapid.

“We are very pleased with Frans’ progress and he was out today [yesterday] doing straight line running for the first time. He should be ready to play for the Sharks against the Lions in three weeks.”

This will be welcome news for De Villiers who has seen Bok centres Jean de Villiers, Jaque Fourie, Adi Jacobs and Wynand Olivier all sidelined by injuries during the Super 14.

Roberts added that Jacobs, who has been troubled by a damaged shoulder, would be ready for the Lions.

“He took a hard bump to the shoulder on Saturday and was in some pain but we now have the time to work on his rehab ... ”

‘He had a grade two sprain of the ankle ligament and that should keep him out for about three weeks.

“We are hoping to have him ready for the British Lions Test.’

 

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