The Stormers are on RED alert over the fitness of star prop Steven Kitshoff ahead of their Super Rugby opener against the Bulls this Saturday.

Kitshoff has been struggling with a hamstring problem and forwards coach Russell Winter is holding thumbs the Springbok yster passes his fitness test.

He says: “We hoping. We hoping he pulls through. But he is a tough kid and if anyone rehabs properly, he does.

“If he is out, I don’t think he will be out too long. He is back in the gym already, when you look at him, he has a weight in his hand.

“Hopefully he plays. He is a world-class player.

“There were a couple of injury concerns. If those guys don’t have full training, they won’t be considered for the game on Saturday.”

Winter, though, believes that they have more enough depth to cover at Kitsie’s loosehead position, hailing Alistair Vermaak to show his quality.

He adds: “If he [Kitshoff] is not involved. That strength in depth is going to help us this year.

“It will be a loss if Steven is not available but Ali was fantastic in last year’s Currie Cup and really deserves an opportunity. I really hope this will be his year.”

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