Injuries have been the Achilles heel of Scarra Ntubeni’s career to date.
And it’s ironic that it’s this part of the body that has given the 25-year-old his latest and possibly biggest ever setback.
There were obvious concerns from those at Newlands on Saturday when Ntubeni was stretchered off during Western Province’s 34-27 win over the Sharks in the Currie Cup.
And coach John Dobson has confirmed Cape fans’ biggest fear that Ntubeni will not only miss the Currie Cup season, but also next year’s Super Rugby competition.
With Bongi Mbonambi having overtaken Scarra as the number one hooker at the Stormers, as well as leapfrogging him in the national setup, this Currie Cup season was seen as the perfect time for Ntubeni to reclaim his spot as the number one No.2.
But Dobson explains: “Scarra won’t play rugby for six to nine months. It’s a devastating injury for Scarra, very painful, very hard to rehab, he’s going to miss next year’s Super Rugby and at his age it’s a tough one to come back from and I’m really, really sad about that.
“I went to go visit him yesterday and it’s one of the worst injuries I’ve come across – not in terms of the actual injury, just what it means to Scarra.
“I think his career’s on the cusp, he’s seen Bongi leap above him in Super Rugby and he just said ‘I was feeling so good about everything’.
“And he had come to us last week and said he wants to be a Springbok… so it’s devastating, he’s such a good man, good person, good for the team, quality individual, it’s really sad.”
Ntubeni isn’t the only WP player battling with injury as they gear up for Friday’s clash against the Golden Lions.
Dobson explains: “Oli Kebble’s not going to make it [for the game], Huw [Jones] is still in doubt, and [Sikhumbuzo] Notshe won’t make it.”
No.8 Notshe has a partial syndesmosis and went to a specialist yesterday.