South Africa's Warren Whiteley is tackled by New Zealand's Aaron Smith. REUTERS/Ross Setford

Captain Warren Whiteley has returned to training with South African Super Rugby side the Lions after suffering a calf injury with the Springboks in November, coach Swys de Bruin said.

South Africa’s Warren Whiteley is tackled by New Zealand’s Aaron Smith. REUTERS/Ross Setford

The 31-year-old, who has been plagued with injury setbacks since being named Bok captain in 2017, hurt himself while touring with the national side in Europe and is in a race against time to be ready for the start of the new Super Rugby season next month.

“Warren is over the worst and it is now a matter of monitoring his progress but he’s busy training with the rest of the squad,” Lions coach De Bruin told reporters.

The loose forward was appointed South Africa captain in June, 2017 but suffered a groin injury after two tests against France and missed a year of rugby.

He was temporarily replaced as Bok skipper by Eben Etzebeth before Siya Kolisi was given the job permanently.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson, editing by Ed Osmond)