Cape Talk has reported that the towering lock is set to undergo surgery to repair a damaged disc in his back, after picking up the injury during the Boks’ broadly ill-fated away leg of the Vodacom Tri-Nations in New Zealand.
He had an MRI scan in Brisbane which ruled him out of consideration for the squad to play the Wallabies there.
The radio station quoted Matthew Proudfoot, the WP forwards coach, as saying: “Andries is back from overseas; we caught up with him today (Monday). It looks like he is going in for surgery next week on his back.”
WP spokesperson Gavin Lewis could not confirm to Sport24 that Bekker was out of the rugby for the remainder of 2010, but said he would seek clarity from the medical staff.
But if the reports are true, it is another setback for the embattled Boks as he is logical understudy to Victor Matfield for the position of “athletic” second-rower for the Test side.
He was also a stellar performer in the Stormers’ march to a maiden Super 14 final this year, and Province – presently unbeaten and leading the Absa Currie Cup log — would doubtless have been keen to field him toward the later stages of the domestic competition if possible.
They will now be a little thin on experienced locks should any mishaps lay low either of their Currie Cup captain, Anton van Zyl, or his partner Adriaan Fondse.
As for the Springboks, Matfield is one of the senior stars under scrutiny for under-performance and signs of fatigue of late, and a fit Bekker would have been useful to have on hand for “pressuring” purposes.