Bulls count their walking wounded




Discarded Springbok fly-half Jaco van der Westhuyzen is back from his sojourn in Japan and available for the Bulls, but injuries to key players are threatening to disrupt the Pretoria franchise.

Following their impressive 24-20 Super 14 Round Two win over the Cheetahs at the weekend the last thing the Bulls needed was spate of injuries.

However, injuries look likely to play a big role in the team’s build-up to their Round Three encounter with the Western Force at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer admitted that his team has paid a dear price after beating the Cheetahs.

Star prop Richards Bands, in his first game back after a two-year spell on the sidelines with injuries, has torn a calf muscle and will be out of action for five weeks.

Wing Bryan Habana has a hip injury and have also been ruled out of the encounter with the Force.

Scrum-half Fourie du Preez, who has been in sublime form in the early rounds, is struggling with a rib injury and is on the doubtful list.

Replacement hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle took a knock against the head and is also doubtful.

The other concern is at fly-half, where Derick Hougaard (upper leg injury) remains a concern. He missed the first two rounds with the injury and could be sidelined for another week.

The good news is the return of Van der Westhuyzen, who returned from Japan last week and is available for selection against the Force.

Meyer said he would first evaluate Van der Westhuyzen, but felt that he will add value to the team.

365 Digital

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