Du Toit boost for Stormers ahead of Blues clash

Pieter-Steph du Toit Carl Fourie, Gallo Images/Getty Images

The Stormers' treating room is slowly clearing as they prepare to host the buoyant Blues at Newlands on Saturday.

The Cape Town outfit has been decimated by injuries in the opening weeks of the campaign, but signs are that the situation is improving. Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit (illness) and flank Cobus Wiese (shoulder), both seen as key cogs in the side, will be available to face the Blues, who picked up their first Super Rugby win of the season with a remarkable come-from-behind 38-35 victory over the Lions at Ellis Park this past weekend.

Flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis (groin), hooker Scarra Ntubeni (hamstring), and props Frans Malherbe (neck) and Ali Vermaak (hamstring), are also all back in full training this week, although the Blues game may come too soon for them.

That is true for centres Dan du Plessis (shoulder) and Dan Kriel (foot), and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak (knee), who will play in a friendly for Western Province at Griquas on Saturday to test their match fitness.

It means that coach Robbie Fleck could soon have a lot more options in both the pack and the backline in the coming weeks. But it is not all good news for the side. Wing Sergeal Petersen (knee) is likely to be out for four months, along with lock JD Schickerling (pectoral).

Second-rower Eben Etzebeth (shoulder) and loose forward Juarno Augustus (back) also remain sidelined as they work their way back from long-term injury, while wing Seabelo Senatla (groin) is also working his way back to fitness.

The Stormers have had a poor start to their 2018 Super Rugby campaign. They beat the Jaguares at home in their opener, but have since slumped to away defeats to the Waratahs, Crusaders and Highlanders.