Springbok second row Victor Matfield could return to action as early as this weekend.
The World Cup winner suffered a shoulder injury after being dropped awkwardly by team-mates on his head and shoulder while attempting to field a restart against the Reds on the opening weekend of the Super 14.
There were initial worries that Matfield’s injury could lead to a lengthy lay off but scans showed that he had sustained a small tear and that no major damage had been done to the shoulder joint.
The 31-year-old sat out the Bull’s wins over the Blues and Lions but could now be back in action for the table toppers when they face the Stormers in Pretoria this Saturday.
Matfield is no longer experiencing any pain from the injury, which was expected to keep him sidelined for a total of two-three weeks.
The Bulls’ team doctor, Dr Org Strauss, has said that no chances will be taken with the veteran’s condition and that he will only face the Stormers if he is deemed to have a made a complete recovery.
Although he did not train with his team-mates on Monday, Matfield took part in individual fitness work that will be crucial in determining his availability.