Serfontein out for 2-3 weeks
The Vodacom Bulls breathed a sigh of relief when they heard the news that rising star Jan Serfontein’s knee injury isn’t as bad as initially expected and that he will be available for the playoff rounds of the Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
Serfontein underwent a scan on Monday morning for his knee and was diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL injury, meaning a two to three week stint on the sideline.
With the Bulls winning the South African conference, and needing just two points from this weekend’s final match against the Stormers to end in the top two and allow themselves a week bye before the semis and finals, it means that Serfontein could well be back in action sooner rather than later and would only miss the Stormers game.
The news was the only major injury problem for the Bulls coming from their narrow 20-19 win over the Sharks this weekend as coach Frans Ludeke breathed a sigh of relief that there weren’t any further serious injuries.
However, the news that Serfontein is out will mean the Bulls are looking for a new midfielder, with Francois Venter, who recently recovered from a long-term injury himself, the prime candidate to step into the position.
There is also Ulrich Beyers, who can also fill in at 12 if needed, but this is unlikely while Zane Kirchner is another outside possibility to take the position. Apart from this, the Bulls also have SA under-20 midfielders Dries Swanepoel and Rohan Janse van Rensburg to choose from, as well as flyhalf Handre Pollard who has played at 12 this year for the Junior Boks.
While there are still a number of long term injuries about, the good news was that winger Akona Ndungane (hamstring), flanker Jacques Potgieter (bruised hand), lock Wilhelm Steenkamp (sore neck) and prop Morne Mellett (sore neck) all will miss Monday’s training but are likely to be ready for the weekend.
• Meanwhile Wilhelm Steenkamp’s disciplinary hearing, after he was cited for “alleged foul play” during Saturday’s Bulls-Sharks humdinger, has been postponed for 24 hours and will take place on Tuesday.
“Steenkamp is alleged to have contravened Law 10.4 (a) Punching or Striking when he made contact with Sharks #10 Butch James at a ruck with his head. The incident occurred in the 63rd minute during the match between the Bulls and Sharks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 6th July 2013,” a Sanzar statement said.
Butch James of the Sharks, who was also cited, was handed a four-week ban by Sanzar for his dangerous tackle on Jurgen Visser.