Thursday 14 December 2017

Ulster hope Coetzee will be fit in four months

Ulster's Marcell Coetzee. Photo: Sportsfile
Ulster's Marcell Coetzee. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Ulster are hopeful that Marcell Coetzee will be fit again for the start of next season after the Springbok received further good news on his knee injury yesterday.

The province already confirmed that the issue was not as bad as first feared as he didn't damage his ACL again but rather his meniscus.

The Springbok back-row arrived in the province having ruptured his ACL playing for the Sharks but recovered enough to have an immediate impact in the four games that he played for his new side before suffering another injury against Zebre last month.

"He had a review today and everything seems to be in the right place surgery-wise - probably looking at about four months," head coach Neil Doak said.

"It was not as serious as first thought, but he will miss the rest of the season and it'll be start of next (season) when he is back.

"Worst-case scenario when you look at the footage it looks bad. It is bizarre, he steps and jumps in the air and you look at a lot of those ACL injuries that is the mechanism that happens.

"It is just the time-frame now and Coetzee will work hard with the physios and get back on the paddock next season.

"He is obviously disappointed to be injured. He had got back into it and he was obviously a major bonus for us, especially in carrying ball.

"He is a big threat with ball in hand, I suppose with the initial injury, you think the worst. He will be disappointed but still happy that it is not as serious as first thought."

In further good news for Ulster, Andrew Trimble is back in the mix for the visit of Cardiff on Friday after overcoming a hand problem that required surgery.

"He has been doing a bit of running and stuff, obviously fitness-wise he is fine," Doak added.

"It was just the wound healing and getting comfortable with catching the ball. He was training the whole way through, it was so he could do things involving his hand."

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