Former SA U21 lock Dan Vickerman could face the Queensland Reds in the opening round of the Vodacom Super 14 despite not having played a match in six months.
The Waratahs second rower, who had shoulder surgery last year, may not be fit to play against the Crusaders in his side’s final warm-up game on Saturday.
“I’m not sure yet,” Vickerman told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I did a fitness test yesterday and I still have some bits and pieces to get through.
“In an ideal world it would be this weekend but it’s been a fairly long road to recovery so I’m not going to rush it for the sake of one week. But I’d love to be able to have a hit-out before the Reds game because it is a pretty important one for us.”
The frenzied build-up has already begun to the Tahs-Reds game – which pits the two bitter Aussie rivals against each other on 10 February.
The Reds have launched a marketing campaign centred on winger Wendell Sailor’s absence, asking the Brisbane crowd to boo him, a move that Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie has ridiculed.
“They’re using him for a campaign, which I find amusing because he’s obviously not there and that’s the best they can come up with,” McKenzie said. “Using a player that’s left, then you’ve got to worry.”