Lengthy lay-off for Van der Merwe

Date published: March 25 2014

There was bad news for the Lions on Tuesday with confirmation that second-row Franco van der Merwe faces six months out of action.

There was bad news for the Lions on Tuesday with confirmation that second-row Franco van der Merwe faces six months out of action.

Barring a miraculous recovery, the ankle injury the powerhouse sustained against the Reds on Saturday will rule him out of the remainder of the franchise's Super Rugby campaign.

Van der Merwe underwent surgery on the offending joint on Monday, two days after suffering the damage in the late victory over the Australian side in Johannesburg.

With injury concerns also arising over full-back Coenie van Wyk and centre Deon van Rensburg, Lions boss Johan Ackermann may be grateful his side have a bye this weekend before welcoming the Crusaders to Ellis Park on April 5.

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