White­ley ruled out of tour to Europe

The Mercury - - SPORT - Jac­ques van der Westhuyzen

TV high­lights: what’s best on the box Rica v Iran, 1.15pm, SS10; Niger v Brazil, 4.15pm, SS10 MTN 8, fi­nal, Su­perS­port United v Cape La Liga, Es­panyol v Le­vante, 8.55pm, SS7 Town City, 6pm, SS4/SABC1; NFD, Black Leop­ards v

PSA World Tour U.S. Open Women’s semi­fi­nals, Tshakhuma FC, 3pm, SS4; EPL, Liver­pool v Man United, 11pm, SS8 12.130pm, SS3; Crys­tal Palace v Chelsea, 3.30pm, SS3; Shang­hai Mas­ters, quar­ter-fi­nals, 7am, SS6 Wat­ford v Ar­se­nal, 6pm, SS3; Man City v Stoke City, 3.50pm, SS5; Swansea City v Hud­der­s­field Town, 4.30pm, SS4; Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur v Bournemouth, 3.50am, SS8; FIFA U/17 World Cup, France v Hon­duras, 1.15pm, SS9; Mexico v Chile, 4.15pm, SS9; Ja­pan v New Cale­do­nia, 1.15pm, SS10; Eng­land v Iraq, 4.15pm, SS10 Squash: PSA World Tour U.S. Open,men’s semi-fi­nals, 1.15am, SS8; women’s fi­nal, 1.15am, SS8

ATP World Tour, 1000 Shang­hai Rolex Mas­ters, semi-fi­nals, 10.30am, SS6 Third T20, In­dia v Aus­tralia, 3.15pm, SS2; First ODI, Pak­istan v Sri Lanka, 12.45pm, SS5 PGA Tour CIMB Clas­sic, day 2, 4.30am, CSN Euro­pean Tour, Ital­ian Open, day 2, 10.30am, CSN Ladies PGA Tour, LPGA KEB Hana Bank Cham­pi­onship, day 2, 5am, SS8 Asia Cup, Ja­pan v Pak­istan, 11am, SS8; In­dia v Bangladesh, 1.30pm, SS8 Cur­rie Cup, Blue Bulls v Pu­mas, 6.30pm, SS1; Mitre 10 Cup Week 9: Auck­land v Can­ter­bury, 8.30am, SS1 PGA Tour CIMB Clas­sic, day 3, 4.30am, CSN; Euro­pean Tour, Ital­ian Open, day 3, 10.30am, CSN; Ladies PGA Tour, LPGA KEB Hana Bank Cham­pi­onship, day 3, 5am, SS8 Asia Cup, China v Oman, 11am, SS5; Korea v Malaysia, 1.30pm, SS5 Cur­rie Cup, Sharks v West­ern Prov­ince, 2.45pm, SS2; Li­ons v Free State Chee­tahs, 5pm, SS1 6.30pm, SS1 REG­U­LAR cap­tain War­ren White­ley re­mains in a bat­tle to re­cover from what the Spring­bok med­i­cal team are call­ing a “groin in­jury”, but it seems there is more wrong with the Li­ons No 8 than what ex­perts term a “sports­man’s groin”.

White­ley was yes­ter­day ruled out of the Boks’ end-ofyear tour to Europe just two weeks after the squad’s doc­tor, Kon­rad von Ha­gen, had said the loose for­ward was a real op­tion to play.

The 30-year-old, who took over from Adri­aan Strauss as na­tional team leader at the start of the Test sea­son, hasn’t played rugby since June, when he with­drew from the third Test against France.

Eben Etze­beth has cap­tained the Boks in White­ley’s ab­sence, a job the lock will again ful­fil when the team take on Ire­land, France, Italy and Wales.

The Boks said yes­ter­day that White­ley “is ex­pected to be out of ac­tion for two more months as a re­sult of his groin in­jury.”

It has, how­ever, been learned in re­cent days that there is more wrong with White­ley than his suf­fer­ing merely from a “sports­man’s groin” – loosely de­scribed as a her­nia in his pelvic and groin re­gion – and torn lig­a­ments in his pelvis.

White­ley has un­der­gone at least one surgery to help him get over the con­di­tion which has side­lined him, but it is un­der­stood that he con­sulted a dif­fer­ent spe­cial­ist last week, who has re-di­ag­nosed him. The Li­ons and the Boks weren’t will­ing to dis­cuss White­ley’s med­i­cal de­tails.

For now the Bok skip­per will have to con­tinue play­ing the wait­ing game and hope to be back in ac­tion when Su­per Rugby starts in Fe­bru­ary next year. While White­ley is un­able to take any phys­i­cal con­tact on the train­ing ground and even finds it dif­fi­cult to lift heavy ob­jects, he is said to be stay­ing fit by swim­ming.

Bok coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee said that Etze­beth had im­pressed in a lead­er­ship role this sea­son. “Eben has taken to his role of cap­tain and it makes sense to re­tain him. I know he is well re­spected and he en­joys the re­spect of his peers,” Coet­zee said.

In some good news for the Boks though, prop Coe­nie Oosthuizen and loose for­ward Uzair Cassiem are in line to tour with their team­mates.

Mean­while, the con­tracted Bok play­ers and oth­ers will meet in Stel­len­bosch from 23 Oc­to­ber for a four-day train­ing camp.

Blue Bulls v Pu­mas

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