Bulls return to Super Rugby training without Spies

The Bulls returned to training on Monday this week in Pretoria to begin preparing for the 2015 Super Rugby season, but a couple of senior players will only join the fray later this month.

Springboks Pierre Spies, Arno Botha, Handre Pollard, Marcel van der Merwe and Adriaan Strauss will all return to Bulls training from next week onwards.

Spies and Botha, who missed almost the whole of 2014 due to a bicep and knee injury respectively, will re-join the squad next Monday, as will fullback Jurgen Visser, who missed most of the Currie Cup campaign with a foot injury. Van der Merwe, who recovered from a knee injury, will start on Monday as well team doctor Org Strauss confirmed.

Pollard (foot) and Strauss (calf) are due back on 19 January.

Burger Odendaal (foot), Jaco Visagie (knee), Grant Hatting (ankle), Dries Swanepoel (Achilles) and Jason Jenkins (quad) will all join on Monday, 12 January.

Meanwhile the Bulls revealed that Springbok lock and 2014 Bulls captain Flip van der Merwe is only expected back on 15 April. He recovered from a knee operation, but injured a pectoral muscle in pre-season.

Props Basil Short (pectoral muscle, 2 Feb) and Hencus van Wyk (knee) will be back on 28 February.

Junior Springboks prop Pierre Schoeman is the only other long term injury and will be out for six months after sustaining a knee injury and will undergo an operation on Wednesday.

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