Cheetahs coach Naka Drotsk¿ is sweating the fitness of two of his props, as injuries are threatening to derail them ahead of their final tour match against the Hurricanes on Saturday.
Drotské, speaking to this website on Monday, said that while his two senior props - Coenie Oosthuizen and WP Nel - have returned to fitness, the other two are now doubtful.
"We have a minor crisis in the front row," Drotské said, adding: "Lourens Adriaanse [hamstring problem] and Trevor Nyakane [calf strain] are both doubtful for the weekend."
The Cheetahs coach revealed that veteran tighthead WP Nel is fit again and barnstorming loosehead prop Coenie Oosthuizen has been cleared to start, after playing off the bench against the Crusaders last week.
"One of those [other] two [Adriaanse or Nyakane] will have to sit on the bench," Drotské said, adding: "The one who recovers the best will have to sit on the bench and at this stage it looks as if Trevor [Nyakane] will be able to start training by Wednesday."
The Cheetahs mentor admitted that the front row is one area where he can't afford anymore injuries.
"We were already in at the deep end [against the Crusaders] based on the fact that WP [Nel] had a rib injury and we could not consider him.
"Coenie [Oosthuizen] could only play 40 minutes with his neck and we opted to play him in the second half only.
"The good news is that both are fit now and that will help."
Drotské said the experience brought by his two senior props will certainly help.
"Coenie and WP have both played plenty of times at this [Super Rugby] level and we went into the game against the Crusaders with two props who have not started a game at this level in New Zealand ... so it is great to have them [Oosthuizen and Nel] back again," the coach said, adding that he is won't be flying in any cover for the two injured replacements.
"It is the last game on tour and as I said, Lourens or Trevor will have to be on the bench. The doc [team doctor] is confident Trevor will be ready by Wednesday, so we won't be flying anybody in at this stage."
Drotské said fullback Hennie Daniller, who has a troublesome shoulder and didn't train on Monday, is the only other injury concern.
However, he will be fit to play and the rest of the squad are all as fit as a fiddle.
The coach praised his team for showing some character to come back after trailing by 15 points early on.
"Especially when we were down 3-18, to come back to 21-all in Christchurch showed huge character," Drotské said, adding: "The two tries we gifted them was the result of individual errors on defence.
"It is a pity we gifted them those tries, but as far as character and heart goes the team showed there is plenty to be positive about for the future."
By Jan de Koning
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