Bulls may get Matfield boost

Victor Matfield’s shoulder injury is healing quicker than anticipated and he could be fit to face the Stormers at Loftus on Saturday.

Matfield suffered a torn AC ligament in the opening round of the Super 14 and was only expected to return for their first tour match.

However, he trained without pain on Monday, although a final call will only be made after Tuesday afternoon’s training session.

Zane Kirchner, Akona Ndungane, Wynand Olivier and Fourie du Preez all missed Monday’s session with various injuries and ailments. However, all are expected to be fit for Saturday’s match.

Flanker Dewald Potgieter is likely to miss a fortnight with a sternum injury and is likely to be replaced by Pedrie Wannenberg. However, if Matfield recovers in time coach Frans Ludeke will also have the option of shifting Danie Rossouw from lock to blindside flank.

There is still no clarity on who will replace wing Bryan Habana, who broke his hand against the Lions. There have been reports that Ludeke will give youngster Gerhard van der Heever a crack. He also has the option of calling up Marius Delport, who has played in the position at Super Rugby level before.

Ludeke is unlikely to be keen to break up the midfield partnership of Olivier and Jaco Pretorius, but the latter does offer him another wing option, with JP Nel slotting in at 13.