Jean de Villiers

Ashfak Mohamed

THE untimely knee injury that will keep Jean de Villiers out for eight weeks could prolong his career by up to three years, says Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

While the 33-year-old De Villiers may be expected to retire after next year’s World Cup, Coetzee feels such breaks could see De Villiers continue. “Jean was really looking forward to the last few games as the two-week break had him refreshed. It might be a short-term setback, but it could extend his career by another year or two or three,” Coetzee said yesterday.

“Jean has maintained that it doesn’t matter how old you are – if you can do the job, then you are young enough.”

Meanwhile, Coetzee added that Eben Etzebeth won’t be considered for Saturday’s clash against the Sharks, which means he is unlikely to feature for the Boks in June.

“It’s not only us who are uncomfortable about playing him, but Eben himself, in terms of his conditioning and mentally,” said Coetzee. “He hasn’t scrummed yet because he couldn’t. We are positive that he will be ready after the break.”