Duane Vermeulen limps off (Gallo)
Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen is set to undergo surgery to his ankle, local media reports indicate.
Vermeulen limped off during the Bulls’ 31-27 Rainbow Cup SA win over the Stormers in Pretoria last Friday, leaving SA rugby fans worried over his participation in the upcoming British & Irish Lions series.
The Bok stalwart travelled to Cape Town over the weekend to consult a specialist, and although the Bulls and SA Rugby have been mum so far on the extent of his injury, local publications SA Rugbymag and Daily Maverick reported on Monday that he would go under the knife.
The surgery is necessary to repair ligament damage and Vermeulen, who turns 35 on 3 July, will be sidelined for several weeks.
He’s out for the remainder of the Bulls’ Rainbow Cup campaign and it’s still uncertain whether he’ll be ready to face the Lions.
The first Test against the tourists is on 23 July, leaving him roughly seven weeks to recover.
Vermeulen was set to go under the knife on Wednesday morning, with the burly No 8 posting a picture to his Instagram account just prior to the operation.
“Here we gooo…” he wrote.
The Springboks have cover at No 8 in the form of Jasper Wiese and Dan du Preez, while Vermeulen’s absence could also see Marcell Coetzee drafted into the national squad.
The Bulls have already hinted that Coetzee, who made a storming debut for his side in last weekend’s meeting with the Stormers, will in all likelihood lead the team in Saturday’s Rainbow Cup “semi-final” against the Sharks in Durban.