Stormers captain Schalk Burger's return to action hinges on how he fares during training sessions planned for Wednesday and Thursday.
That is the word from Stormers boss Allister Coetzee who revealed that if the Springbok flanker experiences no discomfort he could be included in the matchday squad for the Cape Town-based franchise's clash against the Bulls in Pretoria on February 22.
Burger missed the entire 2012 season with a knee injury and his comeback suffered another setback recently when he sustained a calf strain.
The 29-year-old did not play in the Stormers' pre-season matches against the Cheetahs and the Boland Cavaliers.
Coetzee, however, revealed that if his skipper is fit he will make an exception to his general rule that only players who played in warm-up games will be considered for selection for their season opener.
"The situation with Schalk is positive and there has been a big improvement," Coetzee told Supersport
Burger's availability could have an impact on who plays as the replacement for injured lock Eben Etzebeth.
"Whether Schalk plays or not will have an effect on who replaces Eben at lock," added Coetzee.
"There's Don Armand who can fill that spot, Michael Rhodes is there, but hasn't trained yet, there's Ruan Botha (U21 recruit from the Lions) as well.
"I have to make a few decisions, but Don played well there in the Currie Cup, De Kock Steenkamp is also a reliable four lock and Rynhardt is also an option."