Stormers keep catching in the injury bug

The influential Cobus Wiese probably won't feature for the Stormers this week. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)

The influential Cobus Wiese probably won't feature for the Stormers this week. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)

The Capetonians have – most likely – lost two of their best players in their Super Rugby campaign to date.

Luck continues to desert the Stormers in terms of injuries.

Battered and bruised following a 45-28 defeat to the Crusaders at the weekend, the Cape franchise now face the prospect of having to tackle the Highlanders on Friday without two of their best performers.

In fact, bruising lock JD Schickerling will not be available again until at least the back end of this year’s campaign after sustaining a nasty bicep injury.

“We’re still waiting for definitive answer but for now he’s out for up to 12 weeks. It’s a torn bicep, it doesn’t look good,” said coach Robbie Fleck from the team’s base in picturesque Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island on Monday.

“It’s a big loss, JD was outstanding on the weekend. His work rate, attitude and sheer brutality against three All Black locks was something to behold. We’ll miss him.”

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the 22-year-old’s injury was the incident that led to it.

“It happened as late as the last scrum of the game. We were pushing for a fifth try and his arm got caught in the mass of bodies. There really wasn’t anything anyone could do about it. It was just one of those freakish moments,” said Fleck.

The prognosis on 20-year-old Cobus Wiese is slightly less gloomy but it’s still uncertain whether he’ll be ready to play in Dunedin.

It really is a blow as his 1.97m, 103kg physique provided balance to the Stormers’ mix of loose forwards.

“Cobus was our internal Man-of-the-Match afterwards,” said Fleck.

“To deliver a performance like that is something. He really is a potential Springbok in the making. He showed emotional maturity and channelled his physicality well. His shoulder is a bit sore and we’ll give him the maximum time to recover. We’re hoping he’s ready because we weed a dominant force like him again.”

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12 January 2019 TURFFONTEIN

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