While it’s to be expected that teams will have a few niggling injury concerns heading into a new season, the unlucky Bulls appear to have been particularly hard hit this season.
The men from Pretoria, having won an unprecedented three Super 14 titles in the last four years, must surely be one of the hot favourites to lift the inaugural Super Rugby trophy this year, based on the retention of the core of a squad that has played together for a number of years and contains experienced campaigners (and leaders) in virtually every position. News this week, though, is that three Springboks – prop Gurthrö Steenkamp, loose forward Pierre Spies and centre Jaco Pretorius – are all already spending some time on the sidelines before the season has even started. While none of the injuries looks serious enough to keep the players out once the competition starts, they will probably be enough to ensure a slower-than-ideal start for any of the players mentioned. Spies looks likely to be out of action for around 2 weeks with a hamstring sprain, while Steenkamp and Pretorius will both need three weeks or so before they can resume training.
One piece of massively positive news for the Bulls, though, is that their backline general Fourie du Preez has recovered completely from the injury that saw him miss the bulk of the 2010 season. He has been given the all clear to train, along with other injury concerns including Gary Botha and Wynand Olivier.Tweet