With just twelve days before the Springboks face Ireland at Lansdowne Road CJ van der Linde’s chances of playing in the tour opener are looking doubtful.
The Boks have been training in Johannesburg for a week and a half and Van der Linde has been unable to join them in that time due to a hamstring injury.
Conditioning coach Derick Coetzee however said the 26-year-old tighthead was in no danger of being replaced in the squad and sought to allay fears that he might miss the Dublin clash.
“CJ’s simply got a stiff hamstring, there is no bruising and it doesn’t even classify as a grade one injury,” Coetzee told the Pretoria News.
“We’ve been extremely conservative with him to ensure we don’t aggravate the injury. He’ll start running with the team today, but won’t take contact.”
He expected the burly prop to return to training by the end of the week. “He’s done a lot of gyming and should be back in the fold by the weekend.”
Sharks tighthead BJ Botha is most likely to replace Van der Linde, but Lawrence Sephaka and Deon Carstens provide Jake White options in the position.
Other Springbok injury concerns lock Johan Ackermann (thigh) and John Smit have both returned to full training.