The suggestion that Springbok captain John Smit might miss the World Cup has been firmly dismissed, but South Africa had several injuries added to yet another disappointing loss.
A painful Tri-Nations campaign for the Boks continued on Saturday at Kings Park, as they surrendered a six-point half-time lead to lose 9-14 to Australia.
Springbok captain John Smit, who left the field clutching his arm, has dismissed the suggestion that 'torn ligaments' will rule him out of this year's World Cup.
Smit played his last Test at his home ground in Durban on Saturday.
"I pushed it a little bit further back [than it should have bent]," the Bok skipper told a media briefing, when asked about the injury.
"At hooker I probably could have held on [and finish the match], but at tighthead [prop] I knew that I would not be able to reach fully and I would rather not have taken a chance.
"It is probably nothing that elastoplast can't fix," he added.
The captain said he hoped to lead the team against New Zealand in their final Tri-Nations match - in Port Elizabeth next Saturday.
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers admitted that there were also other injury concerns - with fullback Frans Steyn and utility forward Danie Rossouw, but declined to elaborate so soon after the match.
Both Rossouw and Steyn were substituted and De Villiers confirmed after the match that those two were the only major injury concerns in the Bok camp.
He said: “We will take a look at all the injuries on Monday, at this moment Frans [Steyn] and Danie [Rossouw] are our biggest concerns.”
De Villiers explained that he was reluctant to speculate on the seriousness of their injuries directly after the match as it would be preferable to let the team doctor assess them after 24 hours.
“Normally on a Monday, after 24 hours, we go through our injury list and then on Monday the doctor has his slot where he fills in everyone about our injuries.
“We can say things now and then tomorrow it is not the correct information so I would rather keep you posted on the right stuff,” explained the Bok coach.
De Villiers added that the entire squad would probably need some attention from the medical staff after such a physical encounter and admitted that it might have an impact on their preparations for the clash against the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth next week.
“I think the medical team will have to work around the block, these guys bodies will be really drained and sore so I think our programme on Monday will be a bit different from what is used to be,” said De Villiers.
By Michael de Vries, in Durban
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