Cape Town - The Bulls have been hit by a heavy injury blow with the news that Springbok flank Marco van Staden has been ruled out for six weeks due to concussion.
According to the supersport.com website, Van Staden - nicknamed “Eskom” by his team-mates for his tackling that often “puts the lights out” of opposition - took a heavy hit a week ago in the opening pre-season game against Tuks and was immediately removed from the field by the medical personnel.
While it was expected that he would be available for the team’s opening Super Rugby game against the Sharks, the news comes as a bit of a setback to the Bulls ahead of the match.
For a player to be ruled out of contention for a concussion for six weeks underlines the seriousness of the hit, and doctors will always err on the side of caution when it comes to a head injury.
Meanwhile, there is also concern regarding Warrick Gelant, the Springbok fullback who left the field on Super Hero Sunday with a concussion. It is still expected that Gelant will be available next week for the opening game, but he is being monitored as well.
“He will be following our concussion protocol this week, but things are already good and we will give an update next week on whether he will be available for our opening clash,” team doctor Herman Rossouw said on Monday.
Muller Uys, the young loose forward who also left the field after a head clash with Johnny Kotze, is also expected to make a full recovery by next week.
The Bulls did receive some good news - that Springbok props Trevor Nyakane and Lizo Gqoboka have fully recovered from their injuries and will be back in training on Wednesday “if all goes according to plan.”
They will then be available for selection against the Sharks next week.
The Sharks and Bulls will do battle at Kings Park on Friday, January 31 at 19:10.