The Cheetahs hopes of ending a four-match losing streak in the Vodacom Super 14 suffered a big blow when two players were ruled out of Saturday’s match against the Blues.
Lions-import Cobus Grobler has pulled a hamstring, while Ockie van Zyl has hurt an ankle. Neither second-rower will be considered for selection this weekend.
In another setback for the Bloemfontein franchise, flank Kabamba Floors has a groin injury and a decision will be made on his availabilty later in the week.
Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus has called Bian Vermaak into the squad to replace Grobler, and also welcomes back Springbok flanks Hendro Scholtz and Juan Smith. Scholtz has proven his fitness in the Vodacom Cup in recent weeks, while Smith has recovered from a knee injury he picked up against the Reds.
The Cheetahs play the Blues, Force and Cats at home over the next three weeks, although their final fixture will be held at the Absa Stadium in Kimberley.