Springbok Sevens flyer Lionel Mapoe has returned home from Dubai after his ankle injury failed to respond to treatment. He was due to make his return to action for the SA Sevens B-team in an invitational tournament starting on Friday in Dubai.
Mapoe joined the Springbok Sevens training squad a few weeks ago after he missed almost the entire 2010 rugby season because of injury and a contractual dispute. The powerful winger suffered an ankle injury on 17 November in a warm-up match against the University of Cape Town.
Since then he has been receiving physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation, explains Paul Treu, the Springbok Sevens coach.
“Lionel accompanied our B-squad to Sri Lanka with the aim of only returning to play on 3 December in Dubai. Although his condition has improved since the time of injury, he will unfortunately not be ready to play.
“I discussed his condition with (Xerox Lions coach) John Mitchell and we decided it would be better for Lionel to return to Johannesburg where he will continue his rehabilitation under the supervision of Lions’ medical team.
“He is obviously very disappointed because he was looking so much forward to play again. I wanted to give him a run in Dubai with a view of including him in the twelve man SA squad for George,” explained Treu.
No replacement will be called and Mapoe arrives at 10.15am at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
The Springbok Sevens play against Russia, Scotland and Australia in Pool C of the Dubai event.