Port Elizabeth - Following the Southern Kings’ impressive 44-3 win over the Melbourne Rebels in a thrilling Super Rugby Round 10 encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, the team has been dealt a blow with a season-ending injury to prop Justin Forwood.
The 23-year-old loosehead prop has been an instrumental part of the Kings team over the past few weeks, but his participation in last Saturday’s historic win for the Port Elizabeth-based side was cut short when he sustained a knee injury 47 minutes into the game.
Team doctor, Konrad von Hagen, confirmed on Tuesday that Forwood would be out of action for up to nine months following an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear which will require surgery. The prop will undergo surgery in Pretoria.
"It is really sad news that Justin Forwood tore his ACL and will be out for nine months. The next step for him will be surgery which he will undergo in Pretoria. We will then continue to monitor his progress," the team doctor said.
Captain Lionel Cronje sustained a concussion in the second half of the weekend’s match and will be undergoing the compulsory return-to-play protocol in time for the Kings’ next match against the Sharks on May 13.
With the Kings enjoying a bye this week, the side has an opportunity for good rest and recovery before re-grouping next week to prepare for their next Super Rugby clash.
After the break, the Kings will welcome back loose-forward Ruaan Lerm, who was withdrawn from the team last Thursday with an ankle sprain.
"Ruaan Lerm felt some discomfort and was rested. He will be back and fit for our next match," confirmed Von Hagen.
The team doctor also confirmed that CJ Velleman, who is making a return from a long-term knee injury, will be re-assessed next week before being made available to play. The loose forward will join the rest of the Kings squad for full contact next week.
Malcolm Jaer, who sustained a Medial Collateral Ligament (knee) strain on tour in Australia, continues to respond well to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery in two weeks.
The team doctor is also happy with the progress being made by players on the long-term injury list - Cameron Lindsay (knee), Rudi van Rooyen (ankle) and Schalk Ferreira (biceps).