Cape Town - The news on the in-form No 8 Jaco Coetzee is better than expected, but the Stormers may have a few other injury worries to contend with ahead of their Super Rugby clash with the Brumbies at Newlands on Saturday (15:05 kick-off).
While Coetzee, who was helped off the field in severe pain during the 41-24 win over the Rebels that ended the tour of Australasia on a positive note, will be back on the field within the next two to three weeks, he may be joined on the sidelines by scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies this week, supersport.com reports.
Jantjies has been a revelation in the Stormers No 9 jersey this season and was again good against the Rebels, but according to coach Robbie Fleck, his knee flared up after the game. He went for a scan on Monday and the Stormers were waiting for the feedback.
“The feedback on Jaco is that is just a contusion on the patella, which is not as bad as we feared. We thought he may be out for a long time as we feared it might be broken. Hopefully he will be back in two to three weeks. He has been outstanding for us this season.
"Trokkie (Juarno Augustus) was a massive influence as a ball carrier in the wide channels when he came on, but Jaco will be missed because he’s been so good. The good news though is that it is better than we thought and he won’t be out for too long.
“Herschel has gone for a scan. We are not too concerned but need to do it as a precaution, hopefully he will be cleared. Juarno has also gone for a scan but it is also a precautionary one.”
The positive news for the Stormers is that they have had their scrumhalf resources bolstered by the return to fitness of Paul de Wet, who was good in the Currie Cup games he played last year before being injured. He has been out since then, but according to Fleck has been good in training and in practice games played for the Western Province SuperSport Rugby Challenge team.
Fleck wasn’t prepared to say whether De Wet would play for WP in a game scheduled for Paarl on Wednesday night, admitting that there was a chance De Wet might have to be involved with the Stormers on Saturday (if Jantjies isn’t fit).
The news on the other scrumhalf, Springbok Jano Vermaak, is also positive. He is expected to be back in the selection mix within the next two weeks.
EW Viljoen has returned to training and will play for WP in Paarl, while JJ Engelbrecht is over his injury. Both of those returns are timeous because Fleck confirmed that the news on Dan du Plessis, who has played a couple of games as the Stormers starting outside centre, is not so positive.
“Unfortunately it looks like Dan might be out for a while,” said Fleck.
Springbok loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe will also play for WP on Wednesday and according to Fleck has been training well and should be in the selection mix for the Bulls game.