Wing Sibusiso Sithole is recovering well but may not be available for the rest of the Pro 14. Photo: Richard Huggard/BackpagePix

PORT ELIZABETH – Recent bruising back-to-back PRO14 derby encounters with the Toyota Cheetahs have created a few problems on the injury front for the Southern Kings as they prepare for a tour of Europe that includes fixtures against Ulster, Ospreys and Leinster.

Team doctor Clement Plaatjies on Wednesday reported that the wounded troops include flyhalf Oliver Zono who has a knee injury.  “He’ll be going for a scope later this week and we’ll only have more details on his condition once that’s done, “said Dr Plaatjies.

He also advised that fullback Ntabeni Dukisa, who left the field on Saturday with what appeared to be a muscle tear, still required further examination of his injury but was unlikely to be available for the tour overseas. 

The same applied to scrumhalf Rudi Van Rooyen who will be out of action “for at least two to three weeks” due to an ankle problem. “Whilst x-rays confirmed there was no break to his ankle Rudi appears to have a grade 2 ankle ligament tear which will in all likelihood rule him out of the European trip,” Plaatjies said.

There was good news for Kings fans when it came to long-term absentees Justin Forwood and CJ Velleman. “Both are on track with their recovery and we hope to have them back for the home match against Benetton once we return from Europe. 

“Wing Sibu Sithole is also recovering well and although he makes a return to training this week, he needs to build up strength in his leg and we don’t anticipate him featuring for the Kings again this campaign.”

Concerns about captain Michael Willemse were unfounded according to Dr Plaatjies who said the hooker had suffered only a minor quad contusion against the Cheetahs last week and will be fit for duty.

Dries Van Schalkwyk (broken nose) and Martin Du Toit (stiff lower back) but that both were responding well and were likely to be available for selection come the Kings next fixture, against Ulster, on February 9.  

African News Agency (ANA)

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