Johan Goosen will be making his long-awaited return to the rugby field off the Cheetahs bench this weekend. The highly anticipated return of the young Bok flyhalf was stunted late last month when his appendix had to be removed and at the time it was reported that he would not be able to return until the 2014 season. Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has however decided to give Goosen 20 minutes of the bench in their clash against the Bulls this weekend.
Goosen has been touted as the next big thing since his appearance on the senior rugby scene during the 2011 Curie Cup season. He performed well during the 2012 Super Rugby before picking up a shoulder injury in April that would see him miss the rest of the Cheetahs Super Rugby campaign. He made his debut for South Africa (after playing only one Curie Cup match), replacing Morne Steyn in the 60th minute against Australia and went on to start the next two Rugby Championship matches for the Boks, only to pick up another injury that would keep him out of the Bok end of year tour squad. He came back for the Cheetahs during the 2013 Super Rugby, but early in the competition during March, he unfortunately suffered another season ending injury – this time his knee,
Fears are that Naka Drotske is risking the talented young flyhalf by bringing him back this early, but Drotske assures that both the Cheetahs fitness coach (Niel du Plessis) and knee specialist (Dr. Daan du Plessis) cleared him to play. With injuries plaguing the player one however wonders if rushing him for a start is the best thing to do.
In the recent Rugby Championship Heyneke Meyer mainly used Morne Steyn as his fly-half with Pat Lambie the only cover for this position. Lambie has rarely made an appearance at fly-half and was mostly (but sparsely) used taking over at fullback. With Goosen possibly available for selection one would assume that he would be included as a third fly half in the end of year squad, whether he is elevated over Lambie to the bench or possibly even a start, remains to be seen.Tweet