The Cats, already injury depleted, have been rocked by news that recalled Bok Conrad Jantjes may miss the start of the Super 14.
Keo.co.za has learnt that Jantjes, the stand-out Cats performer in last year’s Super 12, is struggling with an Achilles injury that might force him to go under the knife.
“The problem’s more wear and tear,” Jantjes said. “We’re giving it 10 days to see if it recovers, and if it doesn’t then surgery might be the only option. I’m too scared to ask the doctor how long I’d be out for, but let’ s just say at least a couple of weeks.
“I think it’s a case of it not being used to the higher work load of pre-season training. I played a lot of rugby last year and we’ve stepped it up in the lead up to the Super 14, so hopefully a bit of rest is all it needs.”
Jantjes did not perform to his expectations on the end-of-year tour, and admits his frustration at not being able to get stuck in immediately to ensure his Bok credentials are not doubted.
“I am very irritated by this. I had a good run last year but I’m feeling great and ready for the season. Hopefully the setback will prove minimal but at the moment it’s hard to tell.”
Jantjes’ concern is shared by coach Frans Ludeke, who already has his first three flyhalves struck down.
“I’m really worried about Conrad because there’s been no reaction to treatment yet,” Ludeke told keo.co.za. “We’ll make a call on what to do in 10 days, but it’s safe to say that we’re all really hoping that rest is all that is needed. It’s very worrying, he’s one of our key players.”
The recent run of injuries have already underlined the value of acquiring Earl Rose, with the versatile player able to cover both flyhalf and fullback.
Rose starts at 10 on Thursday against the Pumas in Witbank, with Oginga Siwundla standing in as fullback.