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Jean de Villiers set to play against Pumas

The Bok captain's recovery from a knee injury is on track as he looks to take over after missing out in June.

The Springboks look set to have just one injury concern ahead of Saturday's opening test of the Rugby Championship against Argentina at Loftus. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The Springboks look set to have just one injury concern ahead of Saturday's opening test of the Rugby Championship against Argentina at Loftus.

Victor Matfield will definitely miss this weekend's game, despite a positive response to treatment on a knee injury he sustained during their camp in Johannesburg last week.

Captain Jean de Villiers's recovery from a knee injury is on track as he looks to take over after missing out in June.

Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe both came through their Currie Cup match for Western Province on Friday unscathed while Tendai Mtawarira took a full part in training last week.

Team doctor Craig Roberts says Matfield has responded well to rest and rehab.

"He had scans last week and saw an orthopaedic specialist. We were a little bit concerned that he might have to get a scope on it to clean that little bit of cartilage out, but, it doesn't look like that's the case. It does however mean that he's not available for the game this weekend and we'll reassess him next week."

Roberts says de Villiers is ready to return to his duties in this week's coming game.

"We're really happy with Jean, he didn't do every training session last week, and we brought him in slowly. He's progressed really nicely and this is his final week of rehab. But we're happy with where he is."

Despite de Villiers not having played, Roberts indicated that match fitness is sometimes more important for forwards than it is for the backs.

"I think there definitely is match fitness. One of the reasons that we sent Eben and Frans back to play is because they've been out for a prolonged period of more than three months and that's a long time to be away from playing particularly as a forward. I always say you've got to take the hits and make the contact to get match fit."

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