Schalk out for rest of the year
Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has resigned himself to being without the services of Springbok flank Schalk Burger for the rest of the year.
Coetzee said on Monday that the latest turn in Burger’s frustrating battle
with a knee injury that just doesn’t seem to go away is that the whole
programme is going to be restarted and he will begin his rehabilitation all
“The position with Schalk is very frustrating and we are going to get a
full assessment shortly from a physician on where it should be taken from
here, but you can take it as read that we won’t see Schalk play before the
end of this season. Without even looking at the physician’s report we are
writing him off for the year,” said Coetzee.
“There is a possibility he may have to undergo minor surgery to clean the
whole thing out again, or the other possibility is that he just does
nothing for a while in the hope that the rest will enable the injury to
cure itself. From my experience as a player I know there are times when it
helps to just get away from rugby and not put the affected area under any
Burger was injured in the first Super Rugby game of the year against the
Hurricanes at Newlands in the last weekend of February and has not been on
the field since. The initial prognosis was that he would be back on the
field in early May, but Burger’s attempts to start training again were
hindered by recurring pain.
His return to the field was put back to after the June international
window, but it quickly became apparent that Burger wouldn’t be back then
either. There were hopes he might be able to return in the Currie Cup and
perhaps be available for the Springbok end of year tour to Ireland,
Scotland and Wales but those hopes have now also appear to have been
There was better news on Monday on the other influential injured Stormers
loose-forward, Duane Vermeulen, who took part in a WP training session at
the High Performance Centre. And Coetzee expects Nick Koster to return to
training as early as next week.
WP have retained the services of Canadian
international No 8 Jebb Sinclair for the Currie Cup season in an attempt to combat the
loose-forward crisis. In addition to Burger, Vermeulen and Koster, the
Stormers also lost the promising Nizaam Carr during the course of their
Super Rugby campaign. Like Burger, Carr won’t play again this year.