FILE - Duane Vermeulen in action during the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Issei Kato/Reuters
FILE - Duane Vermeulen in action during the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Issei Kato/Reuters

I’ll be back, says Duane Vermeulen as he heads off to surgery

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Jun 9, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Springbok fans will be holding thumbs this afternoon after Duane Vermeulen announced that he will be undergoing surgery on his injured ankle.

The Bulls captain limped off the field in the first half of last Friday’s 31-27 Rainbow Cup SA victory over the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld.

The big No 8 sustained the ankle injury when he carried the ball up close to the tryline and was tackled by Bok teammate Pieter-Steph du Toit. Vermeulen’s left ankle seemed to get trapped somewhat, and he was limping immediately when he got up from the ground.

Somewhat unbelievably, he managed to pull one more carry in a subsequent phase of play, before deciding that enough was enough.

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Vermeulen is now in serious doubt for the upcoming Tests against Georgia and the British and Irish Lions, although he has not yet been officially ruled out.

“Not the way you want to leave the field in a tough North vs South derby but happy for my @blue_bulls_official brothers for pulling it through in the end. #illbeback,” the 34-year-old posted on his Instagram page on Wednesday, alongside a photo of him leaving the Loftus pitch.

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He added another photo of him in his hospital gown in his Instagram story, with a surgery emoji: “Here we gooo.”

Bok coach Jacques Nienaber will host a press conference later on Wednesday, where it is hoped that he will provide further clarity on Vermeulen’s injury.

The first Test against Georgia will be played on July 2, at a venue yet to be confirmed. The Boks are currently in camp in Bloemfontein.

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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