Springbok captain Siya Kolisi is making good progress in his recovery from a knee injury and remains on track to be fit for the team’s Rugby World Cup defense.
However, the outlook is less optimistic for utility back Frans Steyn. Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber provided an update on the players’ injuries during a press briefing in Pretoria.
According to Nienaber, Kolisi is meeting all the targets set for his recovery and is on track to return to action.
The team’s plan is for Kolisi’s lieutenants to fill in for him during the Rugby Championship, with the aim of having him back for the warm-up games.
Kolisi was seen with a strapped-up knee during the media session at the gym but was hitting his recovery targets.
On the other hand, Steyn’s rehabilitation progress is still unclear. Nienaber mentioned that Steyn, a double World Cup winner, is at an uncertain stage of his recovery.
The utility back is still consulting with a specialist, and Nienaber expressed doubt about his availability for the Rugby Championship.
Steyn himself admitted that he didn’t see himself ready for training and the upcoming tournament.
SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus provided further insight into Kolisi’s recovery, stating that the target is for him to play one or two of the World Cup warm-up matches. This indicates positive progress and raises hopes for Kolisi’s availability in the near future.
While Kolisi’s injury is progressing well, the Springboks also received positive news on the forward front. Lock Eben Etzebeth was seen warming up with the team despite wearing a medical vest, suggesting that his injury is not severe.
Deon Fourie, who had a hamstring issue, was confirmed to have a minor ailment but appeared unaffected during the training session.
With Kolisi’s absence, the team has several franchise captains to step in and provide leadership.
Erasmus mentioned various players who can fulfill the captaincy role, including Steven Kitshoff, the hookers, Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen, Damian de Allende, and Lukhanyo Am.
Due to the condensed nature of the Rugby Championship, the team may have different captains for the first two Tests against Australia and New Zealand.
Siya Kolisi’s recovery is coming on track, but Frans Steyn’s situation appears more uncertain, thus he may not be available for the Rugby Championship.
The Springboks are hopeful that Kolisi will be able to participate in the warm-up matches leading up to the World Cup tournament.