Stormers lock Adriaan Fondse has injured his wrist and is on his way back to Cape Town.
Speaking to keo.co.za, media manager Frikkie Erasmus said Fondse left New Zealand on Sunday morning and will undergo surgery to his wrist next week.
The Stormers are fortunate that Springbok Andries Bekker joined the squad last Sunday, as after a week to prove his fitness, Bekker should partner either Hilton Lobberts or AJ Venter in the second row.
Captain Jean de Villiers injured his groin on Saturday and Erasmus doesn’t expect him back for the Highlanders clash. The results on the Stormers and Bok centre’s MRI scan will be known on Monday.
Erasmus said cover may be flown in from Cape Town but that decision is yet to be made. It’s likely Gcobani Bobo will partner Dylan des Fountain in midfield this Friday.
The Stormers have lost four from four on tour and De Villiers and Fondse join a host of players forced to bow out because of injury. Nick, Koster, Tonderai Chavhanga and Deon Fourie were excluded on the eve of the tour, while Percy Montgomery and Francois Louw returned to South Africa last week.
By Jon Cardinelli