Burger facing World Cup fitness battle
July 4, 2011
Burger dislocated and broke his thumb in Saturday's Super Rugby semi-final defeat to the Crusaders at Newlands © Getty Images
Springboks flanker Schalk Burger faces a race to prove his fitness ahead of this year's Rugby World Cup after ruled out for up to two months with a thumb injury.
Burger was forced out of his side's 29-10 defeat at Newlands with a suspected broken thumb and subsequent scans have confirmed the injury.
He is set to miss South Africa's opening Tri-Nations clashes against Australia in Sydney (July 23) and New Zealand in Wellington (July 30) but Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is confident the 28-year-old will be back at full fitness for the World Cup.
"Schalk was operated on Sunday morning. He will be out for 6 to 8 weeks and definitely be ready for the Rugby World Cup," Coetzee said on Sunday.
Burger, who was reportedly going to be rested for the opening leg of the Tri-Nations anyway, could be fit again for the return matches - against the Wallabies in Durban on August 13 and the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth a week later.
The rest of the Springboks squad is set to gather in Cape Town this week for medical assessments and training with coach Peter de Villiers due to announce his squad for the irst two Tests of the Tri-Nations on Saturday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September