Etzebeth and Aplon back for Stormers
Springboks Eben Etzebeth and Gio Aplon have been cleared to return to training for the Stormers ahead of next week's Super Rugby semi-finals.
Etzebeth has recovered from a sprained ankle while Aplon has been given the all clear after taking a heavy blow to the head in last Saturday's clash with the Rebels.
The Bok duo as well as loose forward Siya Kolisi, who was also an injury concern, are all expected to start in next weekend's semi-final at Newlands and Stormers coach Allister Coetzee is still clinging to hope that Duane Vermeulen might be fit on time.
It is almost certain that Schalk Burger will not be fit however.
"Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Burger are both also progressing really well, but both still remain doubtful starters for the semi," said the coach.
"Both will undergo final assessments on Thursday as to their availability to participate in team training next week and as to their potential availability for the play-off.
"We are in pretty good shape, injury wise, for this stage of the competition. It has been a gruelling couple of months. The players have the luxury of three days downtime before regrouping on Thursday for training and preparation."