The equilibrium which DHL Stormers coach Robbie Fleck took with him into the break for his team’s first bye of the Vodacom Super Rugby season would have been disturbed by the confirmation that Jean-Luc du Plessis will be missing some crucial games because of injury.

The first choice flyhalf underwent scans on Monday and they revealed that he has a bone stress injury to the pubic bone, which is complicating the recovery from the groin strain that kept him out of the 41-10 win over the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.

Although initially Du Plessis’ absence was described as precautionary, he now faces four to six weeks on the sidelines, which is a significant absence for the 22-year-old playmaker.

Fortunately for the Stormers, there are players in reserve in his position, and Robert du Preez did well at No 10 against the Kings. Kurt Coleman is also back in the game this year after being injured for most of 2016, and the particularly exciting prospect is Damian Willemse.

The 2016 South African Schools flyhalf came on as a replacement fullback when he was blooded off the bench against the Kings but could easily find a place in his more regular position should injuries dictate it. He is highly regarded by the Stormers coaching staff and after his outstanding showing at last year’s Craven Week, that is rightfully so.

What the Stormers will miss in the weeks that Du Plessis will be absent though is his excellent passing game. There are few flyhalves up to his level when it comes to ability to unleash pinpoint long passes. Du Plessis was injured in the second match against the Jaguares.

There were no injuries to report from the Southern Kings game.