Alberts good to go for Stomers clash says doctor

2012-02-28 00:00

THE good news has come in a hefty chunk and the 118 kg Willem Alberts is fit and ready to play in Saturday night’s Super Rugby outing against the Stormers in Cape Town.</p><p id="U30778622811uBD" style="font-stretch:normal;">Alberts underwent shoulder surgery in the close season and on Friday was given the all-clear by his Pretoria specialist to resume playing.</p><p id="U30778622811TGG" style="font-stretch:normal;">“He’s good to go,” Sharks team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde told <i>The Witness </i>yesterday. </p><p id="U30778622811NtG" style="font-stretch:normal;">“Willem has been in full training for weeks and the specialist has now given him the all-clear to immediately start playing again.”</p><p id="U30778622811pKF" style="font-stretch:normal;">The Sharks, disappointing for an hour and beaten 18-13 by the Bulls on Friday night, need all the help they can get against the Stormers, and coach John Plumtree will be delighted to add Alberts’ drive and power to a pack which struggled in Pretoria.</p><p id="U307786228117JG" style="font-stretch:normal;">Van der Linde confirmed that flyhalf Pat Lambie, who went down in a heap after taking a heavy knock to the head in tackling Bok lock Flip van der Merwe, had recovered fully.</p><p id="U307786228110vB" style="font-stretch:normal;">“He’s fine and there was no sign of any concussion.”</p><p id="U30778622811byC" style="font-stretch:normal;">But there are a couple of other injury concerns.</p><p id="U30778622811AEH" style="font-stretch:normal;">New centre Tim Whitehead, who made an encouraging debut in Pretoria, has a slight groin strain and could miss the Newlands game.</p><p id="U307786228114qF" style="font-stretch:normal;">“The injury is not too bad, but we’ll have to make a call late tomorrow,” said the Sharks doctor.</p><p id="U3077862281162C" style="font-stretch:normal;">He said that number eight Ryan Kankowski had again injured his thumb.</p><p id="U307786228111CE" style="font-stretch:normal;">“The initial examination was clear, but he is in some pain and we are going to do another scan tomorrow to see if there is not a fracture or crack.”</p><p id="U30778622811TdD" style="font-stretch:normal;">Wing/fullback Louis Ludik has recovered quickly from the bruised hip which forced him from the field and he was at training yesterday.</p><p id="U307786228117bH" style="font-stretch:normal;">Wing Odwa Ndungane, who missed the opener against the Bulls because of a shoulder problem, could be ready for Saturday.</p><p id="U30778622811yBB" style="font-stretch:normal;">“He is 50/50 and that call will be made later in the week.’</p><p id="U30778622811IKE" style="font-stretch:normal;">The Sharks doctor said flank Jean Deysel was two to three weeks from making his return after surgery. Lock Alistair Hargreaves, whose lineout skills were missed against the Bulls, had suffered a stress fracture of the foot during pre-season training. He would be out for at least four weeks.</p><p id="U30778622811jhC" style="font-stretch:normal;">Plumtree has ready-made replacements for Whitehead and Kankowski this weekend.</p><p id="U30778622811hAD" style="font-stretch:normal;">The in-form Meyer Bosman could return at inside centre, with Alberts returning on the flank and either Keegan Daniel or Marcell Coetzee moving to number eight in place of Kankowski. </p><p id="U30778622811lhF" style="font-stretch:normal;">Plumtree, of course, could choose to ease Alberts back into action off the bench and start with Jacques Botes on the flank.</p><p id="U30778622811NVF" style="font-stretch:normal;">There should, on the evidence of Friday night, be a change at scrumhalf — with the physical Charl McLeod taking over from Frederic Michalak — and at lock with lineout jumper Ross Skeate back in the mix.</p><p id="U30778622811JhE" style="font-stretch:normal;">Mark Lawrence, whose whistle dominated the boring kick-off between the Lions and the Cheetahs at Ellis Park on Saturday night, will the referee on Saturday night (7.10 pm).</p>

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