Francois Steyn, the Sharks’ helter-skelter centre, may still play in Saturday’s make-or-break Super 14 outing against the Chiefs at King’s Park.
Steyn damaged a rib cartilage when he landed on the ball following a heavy tackle in the final quarter of the weekend game against the Cheetahs.
John Bishop writes in The Witness that the injury would usually sideline a player for a couple of weeks but team doctor Craig Roberts said on Monday he was “quietly optimistic” Steyn would recover in time. “He is a tough guy and recovers quickly from injury. He is already responding well to treatment and we will give him every opportunity to play,” said Roberts.
Roberts, who was last week named as the Springbok’s new team doctor, said that there were a number of bruised and sore players “but no real concerns.”
Bismarck du Plessis went off during Saturday’s game but the Bok hooker will be fit for the Chiefs game.
“Bismarck du Plessis took a finger in the eye but he seems to have recovered well.”
Sharks captain and lock Johann Muller was back at training on Monday and Roberts said he was “looking good for the weekend.”
Certainly coach Dick Muir faces a number of difficult selections – in midfield, particularly if Steyn is passed fit, and in the second row.
Centres Steyn, Adrian Jacobs, Brad Barritt and Waylon Murray are all in contention while Muir has also to omit one of his four locks (Muller, Johan Ackermann, Steven Sykes or Albert van den Berg) from the match 22.
Muir was delighted with the influence that the recalled Ackermann had on Saturday’s game. “We have signed him for two more years,” the Sharks coach joked later.
He will also have been heartened by the improved showing of the backs and the impressive contributions from Ndungane, Steyn, Stefan Terblanche and wing JP Pietersen who was more involved in the action and made the early running for two of Jacques Botes’ tries.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 19:10 and the Sharks will be hoping to better the disappointing 25 000 crowd that watched them beat the Cheetahs.Tweet