Arendse fractures cheekbone, in race against time to be fit for Boks

rugby08 June 2024 19:30| © SuperSport
By:Brenden Nel
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Kurt-Lee Arendse © Gallo Images

Springbok World Cup winner Kurt-Lee Arendse has joined the growing list of players who are injured and in a race against time to be fit in time for the two tests against Six Nations champions Ireland in a month’s time.

Arendse was taken off the field after a head clash with Benetton and Tonga midfielder Malakai Fekitoa and Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White revealed afterwards that he had a fractured cheekbone and would play no further part in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.

Arendse scored two tries in the 30-23 win over Benetton for the Bulls and scored after only 25 seconds, possibly the fastest try in URC history and his team struggled when he left the field.

“It looks like he’s chipped the bone, the cheekbone. It doesn’t look like it is too bad, but when I say it isn’t too bad, it is a fracture. They will operate and put a plate in.

“We will try and get him in as quickly as we can for the operation, not because of next week, obviously but to rather get him ready for the tests,” White said.

“Our medical staff found a doctor who could operate on him tomorrow morning.”

White said the injury was similar to that suffered by French captain Antoine Dupont at the World Cup, where he returned to play in the quarterfinal against the Springboks.

“It’s like the Dupont thing, he was operated on the next day. It’s always nice for players to know that our medical staff are putting their best interests first and to make sure he can be ready as soon as possible, whether it be three, four or five weeks."

The Bulls lost Springbok World Cup winning winger Canan Moodie earlier in the week, and he was operated on Friday for a fractured finger.

Moodie’s return date is not known, but is likely to be after the conclusion of the URC.

The Bulls are also without World Cup winner Marco van Staden, but he and regular season captain Marcell Coetzee are set to return to the side in the coming week for their semifinal clash against Irish juggernaut Leinster.