Willem Nel will have to wait to begin the rugby season in which he is due to qualify for Scotland on residency ahead of the 2015 World Cup, it emerged today.
The South African-born prop is among six players listed by Edinburgh who are destined to miss the big kick-off due to injury. Others are Matt Scott, Jack Cuthbert, Tom Brown, Mike Coman and Allan Dell.
Since Allan Dell, also signed from South Africa, is another prop, coach Alan Solomons’ team are liable to be stretched in the front row area where Geoff Cross and Robin Hislop left over the summer and Ewan McQuillin will require rest after undertaking a Macphail Scholarship to New Zealand.
Fortunately, Edinburgh can still call on props Alastair Dickinson, Wicus Blaauw, Simon Berghan and Rory Sutherland as well as new signing John Andress.
Both Nel and Dell have undergone surgery on, respectively, knee and pectoral problems.
Nel is due back in September with the prognosis for Dell’s recovery slightly longer.
Worst affected is Matt Scott although it was already known that the centre’s dislocated shoulder would keep him out until December and after the annual Autumn Test series.
While Scott was injured in the concluding game of last season at Leinster, winger Tom Brown sustained knee ligament damage in Edinburgh’s penultimate outing against Munster at Meggetland.
Although no surgery has been necessary on the knee damage, an operation to remove his appendix will keep Brown out until October.
Full-back Jack Cuthbert sustained knee ligament damage while representing Scotland in the HSBC Sevens World Series in London and while he, too, has avoided surgery a return isn’t in the off-ing until September which is also the date Mike Coman is expected back from knee surgery.