Pieter-Steph du Toit. (EJ Langner/Gallo Images)
- Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said he couldn’t put a time-frame for Pieter-Steph du Toit’s recovery from a shoulder injury.
- Du Toit suffered the injury in the second British and Irish Lions series and went under the knife on Monday.
- Nienaber also said Duane Vermeulen isn’t quite confident in his own fitness to make a Test return.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber says he isn’t sure how long star loose-forward Pieter-Steph du Toit will be out for with his shoulder injury.
Nienaber, who named a match-day 23 for Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash against Argentina in Gqeberha that had several changes from the side that beat the British and Irish Lions at the Cape Town Stadium last week, said Du Toit underwent a shoulder operation on Monday.
Du Toit injured the shoulder after being a victim of a late Duhan van der Merwe tackle in the second British and Irish Lions Test.
He was replaced at number seven by Franco Mostert, who excelled in the position in the 19-16 third Test win against the Lions.
“Pieter-Steph had surgery on Monday and he said it went well. I think he’s going to be out for some time,” Nienaber said.
“I’m not 100 percent sure though. He texted me on Monday evening and I spoke to him on Tuesday morning.
“He spoke about his contribution in the two Tests, but I would be lying if I put a time-frame on how long he’ll be out for.”
Another noticeable absentee from the Argentina game is number eight Duane Vermeulen. He’s part of the Bok group, but didn’t feature in the third Test and wasn’t pencilled in for the first Argentina Test.
Nienaber said Vermeulen needed to be confident in himself and satisfy a few boxes at training before he makes a return to the playing field.
“Duane is training with us and it’s nice to have him here and he’s doing his rehab and training with us,” said the coach.
“He hasn’t been part of our squad for quite some time, even though he’s been at all the alignment camps, so his input in our structures is vital
“We won’t play him if he’s not 100 percent confident and he isn’t confident. He must be confident and the players must be confident in him.
“We must be happy with his on-field training during the week in the training sessions. He’s got through the majority of the sessions, but we won’t push him.”
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw (Harlequins, England), 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Dan du Preez, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Morne Steyn