Johan Goosen. Picture: GALLO IMAGES, STEVE HAAG
Johan Goosen. Picture: GALLO IMAGES, STEVE HAAG

Former Springbok utility back Johan Goosen is officially out of retirement.

Goosen‚ 25‚ retired suddenly at the end of 2016 in anger at not being released from his contract at French club Racing 92 so that he could join Montpellier.

He supposedly took up a position of "commercial director" at a South African-based company unrelated to rugby‚ which was a loophole in French law that allowed him to be unshackled from his contract.

But on Monday the Cheetahs confirmed that the Bloemfontein-based Goosen would be training with their PRO14 squad until the end of June, when he would join Montpellier.

A Cheetahs statement said Goosen had "chosen to train with the Cheetahs to find his feet and get his game back on track" before joining Montpellier.

"Goosen will be training with the Cheetahs until the end of June and can be selected for the team if he is on form.

"It is a big compliment for Free State Rugby that he has chosen to train here and for the trust he has in the coaches and conditioning team."

In January 2017, it was reported in France that Racing president Jacky Lorenzetti wanted a €1m transfer fee but no club was willing to pay it.

After Goosen engineered a way out of the contract, Racing warned that he might face criminal charges for his conduct.

"The open-ended employment contract produced by Johan Goosen and signed by one of his friends and business associates appears to constitute a phoney document‚" it said.

"Full light must be shed on the responsibility of the various people who advised Johan Goosen in taking this aberrant and fraudulent strategy," the club said in a statement.

Lions skipper Warren Whiteley could miss the next four rounds of Super Rugby because of a knee injury, his franchise said on Monday.

The 30-year-old No8 hurt his knee last Saturday playing for the Lions against the Blues and was forced to come off 19 minutes into the match.

"Warren sustained a grade two PCL [posterior cruciate ligament] injury and faces around four weeks on the sidelines," a Lions official said.

Whiteley recently resumed playing after spending half of 2017 sidelined by a groin injury sustained during a home Test series against France. If he is ruled out for a month, Whiteley will miss home matches against the Sunwolves, Crusaders and Stormers and an away fixture against the Jaguares.

TimesLIVE, additional reporting by AFP