Bulls sweat on Du Preez injury

For the second successive week the Bulls will be sweating over the fitness of star scrum-half Fourie du Preez. He is again a doubtful starter, ahead of the semi-final showdown with the Crusaders in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Bulls’ number nine, who is also the team’s vice-captain, aggravated the shoulder injury that made him a doubtful starter ahead of last Saturday record 92-3 win over the Reds and also injured his other shoulder.

Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer said he is more concerned this week than he was ahead of the encounter with the Reds at the weekend.

The medical report is relatively positive, with only Du Preez a concern.

Lock Bakkies Botha took a few cheap shots in the face which required stitches and back-up scrum-half Heinie Adams collapsed during the game.

Apart from that there are the usual “bumps and bruises”, but Meyer expects all the players – with the exception of Du Preez – to be available to face the Crusaders.

But the big concern is Du Preez.

“He again injured that shoulder [which was first damaged in the 40-19 victory over the Blues in Round 13] and it seems worse than last time,” Meyer told this website.

To make matters worse, Du Preez also hurt the other shoulder, as he overcompensated to protect the injured shoulder.

It all happened when Du Preez took a quick tap-‘n-go in the 64th minute, to score a try, as the Bulls were chasing a 72-point winning margin that placed them into second place on the standings.

Meyer initially planned to let Heinie Adams play the full 80 minutes, giving Du Preez a break in the game against the Reds. However, Adams collapsed and blacked out in the second half as the hectic pace of the game caught up with him and Du Preez was forced to take to the field.

And his competitive nature meant he was not going to hold back either, putting him at risk of aggravating the injury … which then happened.

“The players dived in on top of him as he went over [for a try],” Meyer said, confirming that both shoulders were injured in the incident.

“It doesn’t look good and will be a huge setback, especially losing his kicking game. He recovered so well last week, but I’m very worried this week.

“We are still holding out hope, but it is touch-and-go if he’ll be able to play.”

By Jan de Koning 365 Digital 

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