Bekker blow for Stormers has learnt that Stormers lock Andries Bekker, who delivered his finest performance in the black jersey on Friday, is out of the Vodacom Super 14 clash with the Highlanders on Saturday.

Bekker has an an abdominal tear and his stint on the sidelines could be more than one week, depending on further diagnosis this week.

The blow is massive as Bekker and Ross Skeate impressed as a second row combination in the opening three weeks of the Vodacom Super 14, and appeared finally to provide the longed-for stability in jerseys 4 and 5.

Bekker’s enforced absence means that Bolander Henk Eksteen is the likely candidate to be promoted to the starting line-up, with former Bok Gerrie Britz languishing in the Vodacom Cup side.

Eksteen played decently against the Bulls in a pre-season crank up, but the disruption will not be welcomed by coach Kobus van der Merwe.