Sykes boost for Sharks

    2012-03-19 14:06
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    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
    Cape Town – The touring Sharks have received a lift with the news that injured lock Steven Sykes has been cleared by a specialist and flies out to Sydney on Monday to join up with his squad-mates.

    Sykes stayed behind when the party left on Sunday, for a four-match Super Rugby itinerary in Australasia, starting with a fixture against the Waratahs on Saturday.

    One of their most senior second-rowers, he left the field on the buggy in the 28th minute of the 27-22 victory over the Reds in Durban at the weekend, but the meniscus injury to a knee has been found to be not serious.

    In further good news for the Sharks, who have now won two matches on the trot after losing their first two, their official website has reported that Jannie du Plessis has also recovered from a calf strain and ought to be in the mix against the Waratahs, who were upset at home by the Force on Saturday.

    The seasoned Springbok being fit is particularly encouraging because the other tighthead in their ranks, Wiehahn Herbst, who picked up a mild knee ligament injury – it forced uncontested scrums toward the end of the Reds game – may only be ready for the meeting with Jake White’s Brumbies a week later.

    JP Pietersen, the Bok wing who has been finding his feet quite nicely in midfield this season but pulled up with a quad strain in the warm-ups ahead of the fixture against the Reds, is also expected to be ready for combat when the Sharks move on to Canberra.

    Their remaining tour matches are against the Hurricanes and Blues in New Zealand.

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