Bulls duo Bakkies Botha and Bryan Habana have rejoined the Bok squad and will be considered for selection for the second Test against Scotland at the EPRU Stadium on Saturday.
Botha and Habana were injured in the Bulls Vodacom Super 14 semi-final defeat to the Crusaders on May 20. Both men have been on extensive rehabilitation programmes, but will not be rushed back unless fully fit.
The two, along with CJ van der Linde and Albert van den Berg, underwent medical tests today and will have to pass further on-field testing tomorrow. Centre Wayne Julies was the fifth man to join the Bok squad in PE as cover for Jean de Villiers who has bruised ribs.
“All those players will be monitored closely and after the medical tests today we will have a better idea where we stand,” assistant coach Allister Coetzee told keo.co.za.
The results of those tests were not yet available, but it is known that Botha in particular feels he is ready for action.
The return of the four players from injury will just about bring Jake White’s squad to full fitness ahead of must-win encounters against the Scots and France.
“When the guys get back to action after the rest day today we will put them through their paces with some on-field drills. Depending on the outcome they could all be incontention,” said Coetzee.
White though is in the enviable position of not having to push his luck, as the team that played the first Test, almost to a man, did enough to warrant re-selection for the series clincher.
It is almost certain that changes will be made for the French Test the following weekend in Cape Town. Until then the returning players will get a chance to get back into the Bok squad routine.
Meanwhile, Prop Jannie du Plessis (Cheetahs) and Sharks pair Deon Carstens and AJ Venter have been sent home. Utility back Brent Russell also did not travelled with the squad to Port Elizabeth.
Russell is currently receiving medical treatment in Durban due to thrombophebitis (inflammation in the forearm veins).
By Andrew Hollely