Matfield likely to miss Super 14 opener



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Springbok lock Victor Matfield who is also the Bulls Super 14 captain, is likely to be ruled out for longer than initially expected.

The knee injury which Matfied picked up in the warm-up match against the Cats at Ellis Park last Saturday is likely to keep him sidelined him for up to six weeks. Initial reports only indicated that he would be out for a month and would be back for the start of the Super 14.

Tommie Smook, the Bulls team doctor, has confirmed that Matfield is not responding to treatment as expected. he did say that he is confident that an operation is still not be necessary.

“His knee is still swollen and we must accept that he will be out of action for longer. This reduces the chance that he will face the Cheetahs on the 10 February (the Bulls first Super 14 match).”

“We will take no chances with Victor. He will only play once we are convinced that he has fully recovered from his knee injury. It is difficult to predict when he will be ready,” added Smook.

The Blue Bulls will play Russia at Loftus Versveld on Saturday:

Blue Bulls team for Russia

Riaan van der Bergh; John Mametsa, Joey Mongale, Jacques Louis Potgieter, Trompie Nontshinga; Len Olivier, Danie van der Merwe; Pedrie Wannenburg, Derek Ku’n, Hilton Lobberts, Cliff Milton, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Ruan Vermeulen, Kobus van der Walt, Harry Vermaas.

Reserves: Adriaan Strauss, Werner Kruger, Tonie Gronum, Hendrik Blignaut, Lutho Nyenka, F J Pienaar, Dawie Steyn, Emile Verster, Jerome Williams.

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