Fresh injury worries for struggling Kings

Cape Town - While the Southern Kings are on a week’s break before resuming their preparations for their next PRO 14 match at home on October 26, the side’s medical team will be working hard to ensure players recover well over the next few weeks.

The Port Elizabeth-based side returned home early this week from Italy, following their 5-28 defeat to Benetton in Treviso, with an additional three injury concerns.

Hooker and captain Michael Willemse, lock Bobby de Wee and flanker CJ Velleman all sustained shoulder injuries in the clash at Stadio Monigo on Saturday.

"We, unfortunately, had Bobby de Wee and CJ Velleman sustaining shoulder injuries over the weekend; and they will be seeing specialists for further treatment this week. Michael Willemse also injured his shoulder and is seeing Orthopedic surgeon," team doctor, Gershwin Kortje explained of the latest injuries.

The trio joins prop Schalk Ferreira (fractured nose) and loose-forward Henry "Bakkies" Brown (foot), both of whom were injured in the Isuzu Southern Kings’ previous match against Scarlets a fortnight ago.

"We will have further details on these injuries by the end of the week, as we are currently waiting for various investigation results at this stage," confirmed Kortje.

The team doctor also indicated that prop Martin Dreyer underwent a successful knee surgery last week. There is also good progress being made by scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius from his ankle injury.

"Martin’s surgery went well and he will be starting with his physio next week. The prognosis is good, however, there is still a long road ahead before he can return to the field," said the doctor.

"Sarel has recovered and responded very well to his surgery and rehabilitation. He still has a couple of weeks of rehabilitation left before he can return to play."

Positive news for the Isuzu Southern Kings is that scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen, who returned early with Ferreira and Brown from Wales after the match against Scarlets, has made great strides in his recovery from an ankle injury. While the halfback has a few physio sessions to go through, he is expected to be fit for selection for the next match against Scarlets in Port Elizabeth on October 26.