Michalak doubtful for Saturday

2011-07-26 00:00

THE Sharks could be without their playmaker and French international flyhalf, Frederic Michalak, for Saturday’s Currie Cup game against the Free State Cheetahs in Durban.

Michalak, who scored 18 points — and kicked the winning conversion — in the Sharks’ 23-22 win over the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday night, left the field in the closing moments with a hamstring strain.

“It’s a grade one strain,” Sharks team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde told The Witness yesterday, “and he is in doubt for Saturday.”

“Freddie is having treatment and we’ll make a decision on Thursday or maybe even Friday,” he added.

The Sharks have an obvious replacement, both as a flyhalf and a goalkicker, in former Free State and Blue Bulls pivot Jacques-Louis Potgieter, but Michalak’s creativity and spark would be missed.

Van der Linde said the only other major concern is young flank Marcell Coetzee, who broke his nose on Friday night.

“He was looking better this morning and he will probably be ready, but we’ll keep an eye on his recovery this week.”

Van der Linde said former Bok centre Marius Joubert strained an ankle in Nelspruit, but he “looked good” at training yesterday and is expected to be ready for Saturday.

He said scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman, recovering from a bad elbow injury, will be out for another three weeks.

The Cheetahs were yesterday mulling what might have been at Loftus on Saturday when they went down 33-30 to the Blue Bulls after leading 17-6 at the break.

Coach Naka Drotské said he and his players were convinced that a late try by former Sharks centre and Free State captain, Andries Strauss, had won the game for the Cheetahs. A foot on the touchline in the build-up had resulted in the try being disallowed.

“It would have been a win … but instead of getting five log points we got one. It was that close …” said Drotské.

His one concern ahead of the Sharks is hooker P.W. van Vuuren, who has a leg injury.

“We are thin in that area now that Adriaan Strauss is with the Springboks and Skipper Badenhorst has suddenly retired,” he said.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 3 pm.

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