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A spate of injuries to leading players would not derail South Africa's preparations for the series against the British and Irish Lions, coach Peter de Villiers said on Tuesday.
Powerhouse forwards Schalk Burger (calf) and Andries Bekker (rib), and backs Frans Steyn (knee), Adrian Jacobs (shoulder), Fourie du Preez (calf), Conrad Jantjes (broken leg) and Jean de Villiers (groin) have all suffered injuries as the Super 14 competition draws towards the end.
"The Super 14 is a tough competition and we expected that injuries might impact on our selection for the Lions series," De Villiers said in a statement released by SA Rugby. "For that reason we never cast anything in stone."
Jantjes, South Africa's first-choice fullback, broke his leg in the Western Stormers's Super 14 match against the Waikato Chiefs on Saturday, killing off his chances of appearing against the Lions who play in South Africa from May 30.
Outside centre Jacobsreturned to training with the Natal Sharks this week after tearing muscles in his shoulder. The 28-year-old is gambling on being able to play through the injury, which will require surgery.
Inside centre De Villiers may return for the Stormers's final Super 14 match on May 16, but utility back Steyn has now suffered a knee injury that could keep him out of action for eight weeks.
Flank Burger, lock Bekker and scrumhalf Du Preez are all expected to be fit in time for the first Test against the Lions, in Durban on June 20. - Reuters