Habana hoping to recover in time


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On a day of mostly good news for the Bulls, it was confirmed on Monday afternoon that Bryan Habana’s rib injury was nothing more than just that, with no facture showing on the X-Rays taken earlier.

Habana was injured in the Bulls’ warm-up match against the Lions in Windhoek on Saturday, and there were fears that he could be sidelined for a lengthy period.

Team doctor Tommy Smook said that Habana had previously injured his ribs and received a knock on the same spot on Saturday.

‘There is a good chance that he will be fit to play in our first match,’ Smook said.

It would mean a lot to the Bulls if their IRB Player of the Year in 2007 is fit for their first Super 14 match against the Stormers at Newlands on February 16.

Smook on Monday also said he was happy with the way World Cup Springboks, utility forward Danie Rossouw and prop Gurthr’ Steenkamp, and the Bulls’ number two scrumhalf Heini Adams, came through the game against the Lions after long lay-offs.

However, the news on their other World Cup winger, Akona Ndungane, was not as good. His ankle was swollen after the match in Windhoek and he did not train with the team on Monday.

Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle, who injured the same knee that kept him from the field for most of last season, and prop Rayno Gerber, who injured his Achilles against the Boland Kavaliers 10 days ago, started their rehabilitation on Monday morning.

It’ll be a race against time, but the Bulls management is optimistic the two front-rowers will be fit for the Bulls’ first Super 14 match against the Stormers at Newlands on February 16.

Prop Richard Bands is working hard to regain full fitness after a stop-start 2007 season due to differing injuries, and Smook said Bakkies Botha’s rehabilitation is coming along well.

Springbok No 8 Pierre Spies will know by the end of the week when he will be able to play again. He has an appointment with the specialist on Friday.

Sapa  – Super14.com  

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