Jake White confirms the worst for Johan Goosen injury as URC approve SA home games
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Cape Town – Johan Goosen has sustained the dreaded ACL knee injury, but Bulls coach Jake White is unlikely to sign another flyhalf for the rest of the season.
Flyhalf Goosen went down in a heap in last week’s 29-19 victory over Cardiff, clutching his left knee after trying to side-step on the 4G synthetic pitch.
He was helped off the field by Bulls medical staff in the 15th minute, and flew back to South Africa for a scan.
And on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s United Rugby Championship clash with Edinburgh, White confirmed the worst.
“Officially, he did have a scan and it is his ACL. He will be operated on, and that’s usually between seven and nine months for that operation. And if you look at what happened with Gio (Aplon) when he came back, it happened again,” White said.
“So, at this stage, we will take it very slowly. I won’t rush it, and I will tell him that he must take his time. It doesn’t make a difference if he is operated on today or next week. Hopefully the operation goes well, and then he can get back on to the field. We won’t rush to get him back.
“I don’t really want to, especially with a guy like Johan Goosen, who is important to us going forward… I am just rather going to err on the side of conservatism.”
It is a cruel blow for the 29-year-old Goosen, who was in superb form and pushing hard for a recall to the Springbok squad for the November tour to Europe.
Now he won’t play again until the next international season at the earliest, around June next year.
But with another Bok in veteran Morné Steyn and the steady Chris Smith in the Bulls squad, the Pretoria side may not bring in another flyhalf for the rest of the URC campaign.
“With Morné and Chris who can play 10, it would be nice to get a third player. But with our juniors, we have a flyhalf here and there who can support us. We are also busy getting another 10-15 who is going to sign for us at the end of the month. He is still a junior, but with our third-choice, we have enough to go on until the end of the season in June,” White said.
“If you consider that June is seven months away, that is the end of this block – we start again in September. In all likelihood, round one of the September games, hopefully he is available for that. But if he comes back in round three or four, then so be it.
“That’s just me. Having chatted to Johan, he is important to us and I don’t really want to (rush him back). We can put him on ice now, and what I’ve learnt from the medical staff is that the longer you leave it, the more comfortable the player gets. The running, the balance, understanding where the foot and leg is again… We will wait with Johan, as we have Chris and Morné for one-and-half-years at least.”
Meanwhile, SA Rugby announced on Friday that the Bulls, Sharks, Lions and Stormers will be able to play their upcoming URC matches in South Africa.
There were reports that they may have to host those games in November and December in Italy, due to the fact that South Africa was on the United Kingdom’s Covid-19 red list.
“Along with our four franchises, we are thrilled with the news,” SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said on Friday.
🚨 CONFIRMED 🚨— United Rugby Championship (URC) (@URCOfficial) October 15, 2021
South Africa to host first #URC games in RD 6 & 7 🇿🇦
Full statement 👇
“Planning to play our teams’ ‘home games’ in Europe was a necessary step in light of the chaos caused by the pandemic, but we are really grateful that we’ve progressed to a stage where we can now welcome our friends from the northern hemisphere back to South Africa.
“Combined with the news earlier in the week that limited (2 000) spectators will be allowed into stadiums, we can now start planning for matches in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town with fans in attendance. It’s a big step in the right direction.”
URC Fixtures In SA
Saturday, November 27
3pm: Stormers v Zebre Parma, 5.30pm: Sharks v Scarlets, 7.45pm: Bulls v Munster
Sunday, November 28:
4pm: Lions v Cardiff
Friday, December 3:
7.35pm: Bulls v Scarlets
Saturday, December 4:
3pm: Sharks v Zebre Parma, 5.30pm: Lions v Munster, 7.45pm: Stormers v Cardiff