Jesse Kriel missed six matches due to an ankle injury, but will be ready to take on the Lions this weekend. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The Bulls have received a triple boost just in time for their crucial Super Rugby derby against the Lions, with Springbok backs Jesse Kriel and Warrick Gelant, as well as Rosko Specman cleared to play at Loftus Versfeld.

Kriel has been sidelined with an ankle injury he picked up in the 24-23 defeat to the Stormers on 27 April, while Gelant and Specman have been nursing hamstring issues.

Lock Lood de Jager, though, has still not recovered from his shoulder injury, and will have to continue with his rehabilitation and hope that the Bulls reach the playoffs – in order to give him some game time before the Rugby Championship.

Bok coach Rassie Erasmus was adamant last week that De Jager will be in the mix for the tournament.

But now the Bulls have three new injury problems. Team doctor Herman Rossouw has said that loose forward Paul Schoeman will be out for eight weeks with a hamstring tendon, while Bok forwards Schalk Brits and Marco van Staden sustained concussion in the 24-24 draw against the Highlanders last Friday.

Rossouw said that they will have to complete the return to training protocol, and a decision on their readiness to play will only be made later in the week.

Coach Pote Human will hope that Brits and Van Staden are able to play, with the Bulls in a must-win situation to reach the Super Rugby playoffs.

They are in second position in the SA conference on 36 points, 10 behind winners the Jaguares, and are fifth on the overall log.

But with the Stormers hosting the Sharks in the other SA derby earlier on Saturday (3.05pm kickoff), the Bulls will know exactly what they need to do when they start at 5.15pm in Pretoria.

@ashfakmohamed


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