Michalak may return to Sharks this year

2008-05-01 00:00

France flyhalf Frederic Michalak could be back in Durban and playing Currie Cup rugby for the Sharks later this year.

Michalak hyper-extended his left knee during his team’s 25-10 defeat to the Waratahs in Sydney at the weekend and the initial diagnosis was that the anterior-cruciate ligament tear would require surgery in France and would sideline him for more than six months.

But yesterday his agent said that a scan had revealed a sprain.

"He will not undergo surgery and should be out for two to three months," Michalak’s agent Dalila Essidiri said.

"He will stay for 10 to 15 more days in Toulouse and we will then see if he goes back to South Africa. It will depend on what the Sharks want to do with him."

Sharks commercial manager Rudolf Strauli wants him back in Durban playing Currie Cup rugby — but only if he is fit.

"I have spoken to Fred and his agent and told them that he must get all the medicals done over there and then come back to Durban. We will then assess him and, if he is medically fit to play, we will contract him for the Currie Cup."

The Currie Cup starts late in June and this would give Michalak two months to recover from his injury.

The return of Michalak would be a timely boost for the Sharks. While the Sharks backs have lacked cohesion and potency in the Super 14 this season, the two possible replacements for Michalak at flyhalf, Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn, are likely to be involved with the national squad during the Currie Cup.

Straeuli said that there had been no development with the signing of Bok prop BJ Botha.

"We’ll wait until the Sharks get back next week to see what is happening. BJ is contracted with us until the end of the year so nothing can happen before then."

Straeuli said that centre Andries Strauss and lock Alistair Hargreaves had been rushed to New Zealand to provide back-up to the injury-hit Sharks tour party. Both were yesterday named on the bench for the Crusaders game early on Friday (SA time).

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