Du Preez pulls a Lazarus

Fourie du Preez is expected to complete a remarkable recovery and is now favoured to lead the Bully Boys out to take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Du Preez, who bizarrely injured his knee when jumping for a high ball in training – despite having no other player near him – was deemed a certainty to miss the Bulls’ opening encounters of the Super 14. Some reports suggested that he would miss at least six weeks of the tournament.

Bulls doctor Dr Tommy Smook has worked intensively on Du Preez, however, and coach Heyneke Meyer is now confident Du Preez will be fit to start on Friday.

“There is a good chance that Fourie will play,” Meyer told the Pretoria News. “He has been good in training and has recovered well, so we will make the decision later this week.”

Meyer also reiterated that the Cheetahs started the game as favourites.

“For the first time the Bulls are really the underdogs. Free State are the Currie Cup champions and are playing at home.

“They are also playing their first match as a franchise and are likely to have a full house.

“There isn’t much more that can make you favourites,” Meyer said.