The Lions may start their 2012 campaign with veteran World Cup winner Butch James at flyhalf.
It has been revealed that the Currie Cup champions' star No.10, fellow Bok Elton Jantjies, will not feature in any of their pre-season matches - the result of a fractured hand.
While Jantjies was without doubt one of the form flyhalves in 2011, to have the 42-Test veteran, James, to slot in will no doubt ease the Lions through these testing times.
Coach John Mitchell is hopeful that, with careful management, Jantjies will be nursed back to good health in time for the start of the season proper - when they tackle the Cheetahs in Johannesburg.
Two of the team's other Boks - centre Waylon Murray (knee ligament damage) and prop CJ van der Linde (groin surgery) - will also not feature in the pre-season matches.
The Lions face the Stormers and Cheetahs in the traditional Cape Town tri-series later this month.
Van der Linde could return to action in the early rounds of the Super Rugby season, but Murray - who injured his knee ligaments in a freak accident in his home last year and missed the entire Currie Cup season - is going to miss a substantial portion of 2012 as well.
* Meanwhile the Lions have called up two of the Pumas' star players - loose forward Christo le Roux and hard-working lock Marius Coetzer.
These two were standout performers for the Pumas in a losing cause during the Currie Cup season and will no doubt use the opportunity to show they are worthy of regular spots at Super Rugby level.
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