Pretoria - The Bulls will head into this weekend’s north-south derby against the Stormers with a mini lock crisis, after they lost Lood de Jager to a calf injury after Friday’s loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch.
According to the supersport.com website, De Jager has been in superb form and, along with RG Snyman, has been one of the highlights for the Bulls this season, but because Snyman fractured his cheekbone against the Chiefs, the Bulls will go into their Super Rugby match with a new lock pairing this weekend.
Snyman will be out for another three weeks at least, meaning coach John Mitchell is likely to turn to the likes of Ruben van Heerden or Hendre Stassen to cover De Jager’s place while Jason Jenkins will fill the other role in the engine room against the Stormers.
While both Van Heerden and Stassen are talented youngsters, the Bulls will feel the loss as De Jager was in scintillating form thus far this season and definitely would have made an impact against the Stormers.
“Lood started to complain after the game of a stiff calf muscle. Scans today unfortunately revealed that he has a grade-one strain injury so it is unlikely he will be available for this weekend,” Dr Herman Rossouw, the Bulls' team doctor, said.
The Bulls also rested Springbok pivot Handre Pollard, who was struggling with flu on Monday while there was some good news on another Bok, Trevor Nyakane, who left the field against the Crusaders with concussion.
“Trevor had concussion and left the field in the first half but he has recovered well and has started his return to play protocol. He seems to be progressing well and he will be a viable option for coach Mitch for the weekend to come.”
The other news on the long-term injury of Nic de Jager isn’t that good, with the No 8 set to only return in three weeks' time.