Springbok No.8 Duane Vermeulen went for surgery on his ankle injury yesterday and is now in a race against time to be fit for next month’s series against the British and Irish Lions.
Vermeulen, 34, suffered the injury in the Bulls’ 31-27 win over the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld last weekend, with Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber revealing that he will be out for anything between five and 16 weeks.
Nienaber says: “Hopefully the surgery and rehab goes well. Jesse [Kriel] had a similar injury and the recovery time is anything from five to 16 weeks, depending on the severity of the injury.
“The surgeon will probably know that once he’s opened it up and had a good look at what’s going on inside.
“Certain players get back quickly – Jesse had a similar op just before the World Cup in 2019 and he recovered quickly. Depending on the severity of the injury, it might be a long-term injury.
“But we will know more after the surgery.”
Currently in camp in Bloemfontein, Nienaber also reveals that both centre Damian de Allende and lock RG Snyman should be fine after suffering burn wounds following a fire pit accident in Ireland last weekend.
The duo will see a specialist on Friday, and once cleared to travel, will join up with the squad in Bloemfontein.