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    Kankowski blow for Sharks

    2012-02-29 07:43
    Cape Town - The Sharks have received further bad news on the injury front when eightman Ryan Kankowski was ruled out for at least a month due to a broken thumb.

    Kankowski is the eight Sharks player to suffer some sort of injury at the start of the Super Rugby season.

    The Beeld newspaper reports that Kankowski will undergo an operation on Wednesday morning.

    The Springbok's absence could force coach John Plumtree to rush Willem Alberts back into the starting line-up for Saturday's clash against the Stormers at Newlands.

    Alberts was on Monday declared fit for the Stormers clash after struggling with a shoulder injury. Plumtree hinted at picking Alberts on the bench to gradually phase him back into the starting line-up, but might have no other choice now than start with his enforcer at Newlands.

    Should Plumtree not want to risk starting Alberts - who last played in the Currie Cup final in October - shifting flank and captain Keegan Daniel to eightman and then using Jacques Botes at the side of the scrum could work. But a loose trio of Daniel, Botes and Marcell Coetzee might be too lightweight to give them enough momentum.

    Tera Mtembu and the young ex-Bolander Pieter-Steph du Toit could also be considered, but their lack of experience at this level could prove costly.

    Meanwhile, the groin injury centre Tim Whitehead picked up against the Bulls is, according to team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde, not serious enough to keep him out of the Stormers clash.

    He will, however, need to pass a fitness test against on Thursday.

    In further news, prop forward Steph Roberts has been drafted in on a loan-deal from Griquas. He had his first Sharks practice on Tuesday.
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