Johannesburg - The Bulls will be desperately hoping their star flank Lappies Labuschagne gets good news as he prepares to consult a specialist on Tuesday over an ankle injury picked up on the team’s pre-season camp in Zimbabwe.
According to the supersport.com website, Labuschagne twisted his ankle in training in Harare last week and initially it wasn’t considered serious.
However, the team’s medical diagnosis this week will send Labuschagne to consult a specialist for torn ligaments in his ankle, which puts a questionmark on how long he will be out for ahead of a long and tough season.
The Bulls have already lost the services of Deon Stegmann for nine weeks with an ankle injury and will be keen not to lose a second player to a similar injury for too long even before the season begins.
Labuschagne, who captained the team in their Currie Cup campaign last year, will know later on Tuesday of his diagnosis.
Meanwhile the only other injury picked up on the pre-season tour was that of lock/flank Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, who will be out for a fortnight with a rib contusion.
The injury means he will miss out on the game against the Lions this weekend but will be back in action before the season begins.
Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard is progressing well on his shoulder injury, and is in week three of four, before he will be reassessed while another Bok Bandise Maku will have another two weeks before he is cleared of an Achilles heel injury.
Some good news came the team’s way at Monday’s training with flanker Roelof Smit rejoining his teammates on the field after being on the sidelines with a wrist injury.
After the injury to Stegmann, Smit’s presence will be most welcome and while he is not expected to play in Polokwane this weekend, he will be given the all clear for the start of the season.
The only other injuries see utility back Duncan Matthews with two weeks left on his knee injury, while expected return dates for prop Dean Greyling (ankle) and Stegmann are 1 March and 1 April respectively.