Durban - Sharks captain Pat Lambie is in good spirits despite another major injury setback, his coach Robert du Preez has revealed.
Lambie lasted just 5 minutes of his side's 37-14 win over the Waratahs on Saturday before he left the field with a back injury that would later be confirmed as a fractured vertebra.
The Springbok flyhalf now faces 6-8 weeks on the sidelines and it means that he has suffered a serious injury for four straight Super Rugby seasons after battling a torn bicep, a neck vertebra injury and a shoulder injury since 2014.
Sine the beginning of the 2014 season, Lambie has played just 19 Super Rugby matches for the Sharks.
He was also heavily concussed while on Springbok duty against Ireland last year - his international season suffering as a result.
Earlier this week, Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen said that if he had endured the same horrific run of injuries that Lambie had in recent years, he probably wouldn't play rugby anymore.
But according to Du Preez, Lambie is in a good head space.
"It's very difficult. Patrick is obviously a massive loss for us. But it's not as bad as we thought it would be so hopefully he'll be back in 6-8 weeks. We hope and pray he recovers 100% and quickly," Du Preez told reporters in Durban.
"I think he's good. After his MRI he's been to see a neurosurgeon so I think Pat is in good spirits. He's a fighter."
In Lambie's absence, Du Preez has turned to 20-year-old Benhard Janse van Rensburg for this Saturday's clash against the Kings at Kings Park.
Du Preez says it was a tough call between Janse van Rensburg and Innocent Radebe.
"I think he's (Janse van Rensburg) got his head a little bit in front, especially after that game against the Blue Bulls (pre-season) where I thought he played really well," said Du Preez.
"It's a big opportunity for him and I'm confident in his game management and I think he'll handle it."
Most Sharks fans will not have seen a lot - or any - of Janse van Rensburg, so Du Preez provided some insight on what to expect.
"I think he's a very good communicator and that for me is really important in a pivotal position like No 10," said the coach.
"He's a brilliant defender so nobody is going to come into that channel. I think his game management is good, he's got a good kicking game."
Saturday's match kicks off at 19:30.
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Garth April
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain)
Substitutes: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Johann Tromp