Burger returning to match fitness

Springbok flank Schalk Burger showed no signs of discomfort when he joined the training session in Green Point on Monday afternoon.

Burger suffered a knee injury in a Super 14 match back in April and since then he has been on a rehabilitation course.

His knee was strapped lightly and he took full contact on a number of occasions as head coach Peter de Villiers put the side through a series of maul drills in icy cold conditions.

It was apparent however that Burger was holding back and it would be foolhardy for the Springboks to rush the talisman flanker back into action against lowly Italy on Saturday.

De Villiers said that a specialist will assess Burger’s condition in the next two days after which he’ll make a decision about the player’s selection.

One player who did not come through unscathed was prop Tendai ‘Beast Mtawarira, who took a knock on his left knee.

He was given ice-pack treatment on the side of the field, and will be fit for Saturday’s Test at Newlands. A few Springboks sat out at Monday’s training.

Fullback Conrad Jantjes and centre Jean de Villiers spent the afternoon doing light runs on the side of the field, and are nursing slight injuries.

Also resting with a slight knee injury was flyhalf Butch James. Centre Adrian Jacobs and prop CJ van der Linde have mild hamstring strains but they will return to action on Tuesday.

Fullback Percy Montgomery and hooker John Smit have returned to France for duty in the Top 14 semifinals this weekend.

Wing JP Pietersen has been released and will be available for the Sharks in Friday’s Currie Cup pipe-opener against Western Province in Durban.

Eighthman Pierre Spies returned to Pretoria for a medical check-up. Coach De Villiers said he will wait for a report from the specialist who will examine Spies, before deciding on his selection for Saturday.

De Villiers said he will name his Test line-up on Thursday.

Sapa – Rugbyweek.com

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