Johannesburg - The Cheetahs have been given a double setback with the news that two of their midfielders will be out for between two and three months.
According to SuperSport.com, midfielders William Small-Smith and Joubert Engelbrecht both underwent operations on Wednesday to repair injuries sustained in the Super Rugby campaign and are only expected to be back in action after the June break in Super Rugby.
Small-Smith’s luck with injuries continues to dog him as he was just starting to get his stride when he injured a toe during the loss to the Lions a fortnight ago.
Engelbrecht replaced him for the game against the Brumbies but tore a pectoral muscle in the match and also needs surgery.
Coach Franco Smith has put the injuries down “to part of the game of rugby” and has been searching for a replacement ahead of this weekend’s match against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Initially it seemed he would bring in Sevens Springbok Ryno Benjamin but he is also returning from an injury and may not be risked for the game.
The other option is Shimlas midfielder Nico Lee or Tertius Kruger, both who could be brought in for the match.
The Cheetahs have already lost Michael van der Spuy to a neck strain that will keep him out for a lengthy period.
“We always knew we would get injuries, that is part of the game,” said Smith. “It is all part of the process of growing this squad and it gives opportunities to other players, it is all part of that process.”
The Cheetahs will name their team to face the Bulls later on Thursday.