July 25, 2013
DHL Western Province flanker Schalk Burger has received the green light to resume training at the team's training base in Bellville, as he begins his comeback from surgery.
Burger – who missed the 2012 Super Rugby season with a knee injury – underwent surgery to remove a cyst pressing against his spinal cord, in March of this year, but there were complications when he contracted bacterial meningitis.
Since then, Burger has been through some tough times, which saw him spend a total of six weeks in hospital and another eight weeks indoors.
However, after consulting his specialist on Wednesday, he received the news that the cyst – which had been pressing against his spine and causing discomfort in his calf muscle – was gone and that he could return to the HPC and begin working towards an eventual comeback for DHL WP.
For now, Burger will be able to increase his training workload in the gym, with the next step being targeting a return to field training.
Looking ahead, and when pressed on a potential comeback date, Burger told wprugby.com on Thursday: “To give a timeline is quite difficult… I certainly don’t want to over-commit.
“The good news is that I can start to train properly and get the heart-rate up. That, in itself, is exciting news and I look forward to increasing my training schedule over the next few weeks with the help of the strength and conditioning team at WP Rugby. We will then reasses things again in a month’s time.”
Burger, 30, has played 32 games for DHL Western Province and a further 88 matches for the DHL Stormers – having made his provincial debut in 2003 and his Super Rugby debut in 2004.
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While the four teams who will contest the Vodacom Cup quarterfinals from the South Section have been decided, the race to get into the play-offs in the North Section is not over yet after the penultimate round of pool action.
DHL Western Province recorded a deserved 28-15 Vodacom Cup, Round Six win over a battle-hardened Free State XV at City Park on Saturday afternoon.
With only two rounds of Vodacom Cup pool action left, no fewer than 13 teams are technically still in contention to reach the quarterfinals - including, of course, DHL WP who are in action at City Park on Saturday.
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