Mapoe to return next week?

Lionel Mapoe (Gallo Images)
Lionel Mapoe (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Springbok Lionel Mapoe is set to play for his Emirates Lions team in their pre-season friendly next week against the Bulls in Polokwane, after recovering fully from his injury.

According to the website, Mapoe was one of three players who had missed out on selection for the Lions’ first pre-season hit out this weekend in Kempton Park against teams from the Valke and Leopards Rugby Unions and is expected to make his mark shortly when he rejoins the team at training on Monday.

The other two injuries have differing timezones for recovery, with midfielder Harold Vorster not too far away from returning to the field, while stalwart flank Derick Minnie is still some time away from returning to the field.

Vorster and Mapoe, along with the likes of Howard Mnisi and Stokkies Hanekom will all battle it out for the midfield spots in this year’s competition.

Minnie, however, is still recovering from his knee operation and will be back in action midway into the competition if his recovery continues to go well.

“Harold is basically ready to go. The only thing is he needs to wait out his time until he is cleared by the surgeon before he is cleared for full contact. He is tracking well on his recovery. He will probably be ready in the next two weeks,” Ackermann said on Vorster’s injury.

“Lionel is ready next week, according to the medical staff, he will start participating in practices and then Derick has always been out for 12 months, and he is now out for 10.

“So he has probably another two months to go before we will see him again.”

The Lions will be hoping for as few injuries as possible during what promises to be a tough season ahead.

They open their Vodacom Super Rugby campaign against newcomers from Japan, the Sunwolves, in Tokyo on February 27.

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