- Western Province have two injury concerns after their Currie Cup loss to the Lions.
- Prop Neethling Fouche is concussed and wing Seabelo Senatla has sustained a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury.
- Senatla, though, will likely not require surgery and other players feared to be concussed have been cleared.
Western Province have reported two injury casualties following their 22-19 Currie Cup defeat to the Lions in Johannesburg.
Head coach John Dobson said in the aftermath of the game that they were "massacred injury-wise", having let slip a 19-9 advantage late in the game.
"We had three or four concussions, we have a bloke or two in hospital. At half-time, I think there were two fit forwards of the original starting eight. (Starting hooker) Bongi (Mbonambi) and (replacement) Scarra (Ntubeni) got knocks. I'm not sure what the diagnoses are.
"(Prop) Neethling Fouche is in hospital with a concussion. (Lock) Salmaan Moerat got concussed. (No 8) Trokkie Augustus was concussed and has a neck strain. (Wing) Seabelo Senatla injured his MCL (medial collateral ligament)," Dobson said on Saturday night.
But Monday's injury report brought more welcome news for Dobson and his charges after it was confirmed that only reserve prop Fouche and winger Senatla were likely to miss Friday's clash against the Pumas at Newlands.
Skills coach Labeeb Levy told reporters that it was only Fouche who was badly concussed.
"There's only one guy with concussion which was Neethling Fouche. He took a head knock and struggled to get up. We're still evaluating the others that had niggles, bumps and bruises... and waiting on the medical team to write their final reports," Levy said on Monday.
"Salmaan went off with a knock and went for the concussion test which he passed. He could actually have come back on, but at that stage of the game the coaches felt they wanted to give the replacements a run at that point in time."
Levy confirmed that Senatla had suffered an MCL injury but noted that it was not severe enough for the speedster to go under the knife.
"The only other injury concern is Seabelo Senatla, who is out with an MCL injury. We're still waiting for the final results of the scan but it's [likely] a Grade 1 or 2 [tear]. I don't think it's a clean break, and we're pretty confident that he won't need an operation. I had a chat to him and he said it wasn't too painful," Levy added.
With Fouche out, young gun Sazi Sandi is likely to provide tighthead cover off the bench against the Pumas.
Regarding a potential replacement for Senatla, Levy commented: "Sergeal Petersen trained very well last week, he actually got the team award for 'Best Trainer'... so that's a potential option... Leolin Zas is also in the reckoning as well as Sihle Njezula and Tristan Leyds."
After back-to-back defeats to the Bulls and Lions, WP will be desperate to beat the Pumas on Friday.
They will be wary of the men from Nelspruit, having escaped with a 42-37 win at Mbombela Stadium during the Super Rugby Unlocked event in October.
In that game, the men from the Cape overcame a 37-14 deficit to score a late win.
"You can't underestimate the Pumas. Every team in this competition is very tough. We can't get into this mindset of teams like Griquas and Pumas being a smaller union. They'll be motivated so we'll have to get our mindset right.
"We won't underestimate them, they bring a lot of physicality and they actually kick very well. The last time we played them they kicked better than we did. Devon Williams was phenomenal with his left foot there. So, we are expecting them to come with something similar and we've put in plans to neutralise them.
"We need to have a better performance than we had against them [in Nelspruit], instead of a 'smash and grab' at the end," Levy concluded.