Cheslin Kolbe sidelined for eight weeks
January 16, 2014
Cheslin Kolbe has joined Stormers team-mate Eben Etzebeth on the sidelines for the opening weeks of Super Rugby 2014, with the South Africa Sevens star sustaining a serious knee injury in pre-season training.
Kolbe has been the subject of much stardust speculation ahead of the season, after starring on the wing for Western Province during the 2013 Currie Cup, but he will now miss the Stormers' pre-season trials and their opening three Super Rugby matches.
"Cheslin will be out for at least eight weeks with a torn lateral meniscus, Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said. "He will be operated on soon."
Coetzee said the winger was injured in "a freak accident ... someone collided with him and his foot was caught … and his knee buckled. You normally get a few casualties at this time of the season, but it's a blow to lose an exciting player like Cheslin and, especially, because it will test our depth amongst our back three before the season has even started.
"We will keep our ears to the ground in terms of possibly recruiting a wing, but we will back what we have in the shape of our youngsters like Pat Howard and Kobus van Wyk - who deserve to be rewarded after their 2013 under-21 season. And, of course, we also have Scott van Breda, who is on loan with us from the Kings.
"We are lucky to have some exciting young players in our system and we're also fortunate that there's great continuity between our Currie Cup and Super Rugby squads."
The Stormers have lost wings Gerhard van den Heever and Bryan Habana since this time last year, with the pair both now playing overseas, and they failed in their efforts to contract a strongly built winger from Samoa. But Springboks fullback Jaco Taute, formerly of the Lions, is back to full fitness after missing most of last season through injury.
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