Pienaar news buoys Boks

Ruan Pienaar will be fit to face the British & Irish Lions.

The Sharks’ medical staff confirmed that the Springbok flyhalf, who limped off against the Bulls on Saturday, had suffered a grade two ligament sprain in his ankle and will be out for a maximum of three weeks. The first Test against the Lions in Durban is on 20 June.

There were fears that Pienaar would miss the tour as the injury looked to be fairly serious as he left the field supported by two members of the team’s medical staff. This news allays those fears.

The Springbok selectors are surely breathing a deep sigh of relief given that they were left short of pivot options following news that World Cup winner Butch James ruptured knee ligaments playing for Bath and will be sidelined for an extended period.

At one stage it seemed as if the Springboks would be forced to field an understrength side in at least the first Test. Adi Jacobs, Jean de Villiers, Andries Bekker and Schalk Burger all sustained injuries in the Super 14, but all look set to be fit to play a full role in the series, barring a recurrence of those injuries.

Stormers fullback Conrad Jantjes is the only long-term absentee. He broke his leg against the Chiefs and will not play for the remainder of the year.