Springbok wing Bryan Habana will be spending the next four to six weeks on the sidelines, after it was confirmed that he had fractured his hand at the weekend.
Rugby 365′s Jan de Koning writes that while the injury may take the shine off the Bulls’ unbeaten run in the Super 14 competition, following their third successive win at the weekend, the break could not have come at a more opportune time for one of the world’s best wings.
The Bulls are topping the standings after their 16-9 victory over the Lions in a soaking wet Johannesburg on Saturday.
However, rugby365.com can confirm that Habana had suffered a fractured hand.
The Bok and Bulls stalwart will undergo surgery later this week and will miss at least four weeks, maybe even six.
This means he will miss the Bulls’ crucial home game derby against the Stormers in Pretoria this coming Saturday, as well as the early matches on their Australasian tour – which will see them tackle the Hurricanes, Highlanders and Crusaders on the New Zealand leg of their gruelling five-match trip.
There is a chance that he could be back in time to join the team for the Australian leg – when they face the Waratahs and Brumbies, but it is more likely that he will only start playing again when the Bulls return home – to start the final stretch against Chiefs on April 24.
Although his absence will no doubt leave a gaping hole in the Bulls’ attacking arsenal, the break may well be a timely rest period for the wing – who has struggled to regain his best form after nearly 18 months of non-stop rugby.
While Habana has regained some of his try-scoring form, his defensive lapses this season have showed that he is still not as sharp as the player who won the International Rugby Board and South African Player of the Year awards in 2007 – when he was also the top try scorer at the Word Cup in France.
It is likely that Springbok utility back Jaco Pretorius will wear the No.11 jersey in the next few weeks – after he moved from centre to left wing, with JP Nel having come on in the midfield, when Habana was replaced in the Bulls 19-6 win over the Lions in a sopping wet Johannesburg at the weekend.
* Meanwhile Bulls forwards coach Johan van Graan said he has heard nothing about a possible citing.
According to some reports there were two “serious incidents”, involving the same player, which were looked at by the citing commissioner after the match.
“I have heard nothing,” Van Graan told Rugby 365.
“It was a typical derby and there were a few incident, but we have not heard about any citings,” he added.Tweet