Goosen back this weekend?
Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen may make a surprise appearance in the Absa Currie Cup this weekend if he passes a fitness test on Thursday.
Goosen, who tore knee ligaments in the Vodacom Super Rugby season and then had to undergo an operation for a burst appendix, was thought to be out of action until the end of the year.
But Toyota Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske confirmed to supersport.com that Goosen had run with the side this week and if he does pass a fitness test, he will be on the bench this weekend to play for 20 minutes.
The Cheetahs are also waiting for blood tests from the appendectomy to clear the flyhalf, but the fitness test looks to be the only obstacle in his path at the moment to returning to the field.
Goosen needs to get onto the field if he is to play for the Cheetahs in the semifinals and final of the Currie Cup, and regain some match fitness before a possible return to the Springboks for the November tour.
While Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has not indicated if he will be using Goosen, the flyhalf is rated highly and was part of Meyer’s plans for the future before he got injured.
If Goosen fails the fitness test, he won’t be eligible for selection for the Cheetahs for the playoff rounds, and then will continue his rehabilitation until the end of the current season before a possible return to the Boks.
Drotske kept his cards close to his chest on Wednesday, not naming Goosen in the match 22 for their clash against the Vodacom Blue Bulls this weekend, but supersport.com understands that if Goosen is fit, he will replace Piet Lindeque on the bench.
The Cheetahs welcomed back their Springboks Coenie Oosthuizen and Adriaan Strauss for the clash, as well as wayward Bok Trevor Nyakane, flanker Phillip van der Walt and winger Ryno Benjamin for the game.
The front row of Springboks replaces Rossouw de Klerk, Hercu Liebenberg and Schalk van der Merwe. Benjamin replaces Lindeque on the wing while Van der Walt is in the place of Oupa Mohoje in the loose trio.
TOYOTA FREE STATE CHEETAHS: Hennie Daniller, Rayno Benjamin, Johann Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Rhule, Elgar Watts, Sarel Pretorius, Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagné, Boom Prinsloo, Lood de Jager, Francois Uys, Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen.