Springboks Flip Van Der Merwe and Arno Botha have returned to full training following a pectoral and hamstring injury respectively and will be considered for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Reds at Loftus Versfeld. They will join the likes of Jan Serfontein and Handré Pollard, who missed last weekend’s clash against the Emirates Lions, but Victor Matfield will only know on Tuesday when he will play again. The lock, who has a meniscal knee strain, will see knee specialist Daan Du Plessis on Tuesday to determine how long he will be out of action.
Jesse Kriel (ribs), Burger Odendaal (arm), JJ Engelbrecht (pectoral), Trevor Nyakane (shoulder) and Jacques Du Plessis (muscle spasm) all picked up light niggles on the weekend and sat out training Monday, team doctor Org Strauss said. All of them will be back in action on Tuesday, as well as Basil Short, who recovered from concussion. Akona Ndungane (broken hand, 13 April), Lappies Labuschagne (shoulder, 13 April), William Small-Smith (foot, 20 April) and Travis Ismaiel (ribs, 20 April) will return to action before the end of the month.
Pierre Schoeman (ACL, 31 July), Bandise Maku (pectoral, 31 July), Carlo Engelbrecht (ankle, five weeks), Werner Kruger (ankle, five weeks), Duncan Matthews (ACL, 31 July), Ruan Steenkamp (PCL, 31 July), Ryan Nell (ACL, 31 August) are all on the long-term recovery list.