Surgery to enhance Matfield’s WC chances

2015-04-08 00:00

PRETORIA — Surgery to Victor Matfield’s knee will keep him out of action for an extended period of time, but will enhance his chances of playing at the Rugby World Cup, according to the Bulls.

The Bulls medical staff have confirmed yesterday that Matfield will undergo surgery on his injured right knee and will be out of action for three to four weeks.

In a statement released by the Bulls, team doctor Org Strauss confirmed that the 121-Test veteran will undergo arthroscopic surgery today on his knee to fix up damaged cartilage.

Matfield could have played the season without undergoing the procedure, but the decision was made as a precautionary measure building towards the World Cup.

“The idea is to get it done now to avoid problems going forward — especially with the World Cup getting closer as well,” Strauss said.

Meanwhile, Springboks Flip van der Merwe and Arno Botha have returned to full training following a pectoral and hamstring injury respectively and will be considered for the match against the Reds at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

They will join the likes of Jan Serfontein and Handre Pollard, who missed last weekend’s clash against the Lions.

Jesse Kriel (ribs), Burger Odendaal (arm), JJ Engelbrecht (pectoral), Trevor Nyakane (shoulder) and Jacques du Plessis (muscle spasm) all picked up light niggles on the weekend and sat out training on Monday.

All of them were back in action yesterday, as well as Basil Short, who recovered from concussion.

Akona Ndungane (broken hand, April 13), Lappies Labuschagne (shoulder, April 13), William Small-Smith (foot, April 20) and Travis Ismaiel (ribs, April 20) will return to action before the end of the month.

Pierre Schoeman (ACL, July 31), Bandise Maku (pectoral, July 31), Carlo Engelbrecht (ankle, five weeks), Werner Kruger (ankle, five weeks), Duncan Matthews (ACL, July 31), Ruan Steenkamp (PCL, July 31) and Ryan Nell (ACL, August 31) are on the long-term recovery list.

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