Top Sharks players home after injuries

2016-02-11 06:00
Sharks captain and flyhalf Pat Lambie has had to return home after injuring his shoulder while on a preseason tour to France with the franchise. PHOTO: gallo images

Sharks captain and flyhalf Pat Lambie has had to return home after injuring his shoulder while on a preseason tour to France with the franchise. PHOTO: gallo images

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SHARKS captain Pat Lambie, new lock signing­ Ruan Botha and backrower Francois­ Kleinhans are on their way home from France after picking up injuries in the season-opening friendly against Toulon at the weekend.

The Sharks medical team has issued a medical report following the 29-21 win over Toulon and it made for grim reading.

Lambie, who left the field with his arm in a sling shortly before half time, has been initially diagnosed with an “AC joint separation on the right shoulder”.

“There is considerable swelling on the shoulder at present and [Lambie] will return home to have scans done and to assess the full extent of his injury as well as the lay-off period.”

Botha, signed from the Stormers this year as a replacement for Springbok Pieter-Steph du Toit, left the field with a hip injury in the second half in Toulon.

He is returning to Durban today and will have scans taken on his return.

Kleinhans suffered a torn bicep muscle early in the game and he will have the injury assessed on his return home.

The fourth casualty on Friday night was lock Giant Mtyanda, a replacement at Stade Mayol for Kleinhans, who fractured a cheekbone.

He, too, is waiting on further scans of the injury.

The loss of Lambie, both as the new captain and as the team’s playmaker, is obviously a major blow for a new-look team.

Speculation in the Sharks camp was that Lambie would be sidelined for at least six weeks, and even that prognosis could be optimistic, but he seems certain to miss at least the opening month of the competition.

Head coach Gary Gold is concentrating on the positives following their win over the depleted European Cup champions.

“For a first hit-out, I was really pleased with certain aspects of the game,” he said. “I was particularly happy with our composure and the ability to score as many tries as we did [five to three].

“There are a couple of areas we still need to work on but, by and large, we came through the exercise to measure our levels of fitness and physicality quite well, against a seasoned team already halfway through their season.”

Gold said he was particularly impressed with the commitment of the players in the closing moments of the match.

“There are areas to improve but I am happy with the intensity and attitude from the players in the last 10 to 15 minutes when we were under pressure.”

The Sharks face Toulouse today (9.30pm) in the second and final match on their preseason and the team will be named today.

They open their Super Rugby season against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on 27 February.

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