Six players in South Africa's World Cup squad of 30 will not be exposed to full contact in training while they are still recovering from injury, Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts said on Monday.
"We are happy where we are with the players at the moment, but six guys are only running today, separate from the squad, to get over some injuries and niggles," said Roberts.
He said there were no serious injury concerns and Ruan Pienaar (ankle), Jean de Villiers (groin), Frans Steyn (hamstring), Victor Matfield (hamstring), Pat Lambie (shoulder) and Bakkies Botha (knee) should be back with the rest of the squad next week.
For the remaining 24 players, it will be a gruelling week with fitness being their main focus in-between a busy public relations schedule, so they can expect to do a fair amount of running around.
"We have identified this as a week to aerobically push the guys and that will definitely be a component this week," Roberts confirmed.
Another big positive for the Springbok squad is that flank Schalk Burger has recovered sufficiently from a thumb injury which kept him out of the Tri-Nations. He will, however, only be taking part in full contact training next week at the team's base camp in Wellington.
"We are just holding Schalk back a little bit at the moment, but just because we can," Roberts said.
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said he was happy with the team's preparations and that injuries were the only problems to which they would need to react.
"Maybe one game more would have done the trick [as far as preparations are concerned], but then we played so much rugby this year," said De Villiers.
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