More injury woes for Sharks

    2016-07-04 07:00

    Lloyd Burnard - Sport24

    Cape Town - The equation for the Sharks is simple: if they win their last two Super Rugby group matches, they qualify for the quarter-finals. 

    But injuries have struck at the worst possible time. 

    Patrick Lambie's absence was felt throughout the Sharks' 37-10 loss to the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday as the error-prone Garth April struggled to take control of the match. 

    Fullback Willie le Roux (suspended for the Lions match) is also reportedly battling a shoulder injury while the midfield problems have reached crisis point. 

    On Thursday, the Sharks lost Andre Esterhuizen to a hamstring injury and then, with less than 10 minutes gone against the Lions, Paul Jordaan hobbled off with what looked a serious knee injury. 

    "He’s not good," Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold confessed after the match.

    "He took a bad knock to the knee early on and it looks like he’s done something in his knee … the LCL on the outside or something.

    "That didn’t make life easier … losing Andre on Thursday and Paul today.

    "That centre combination for the whole season was gone within 10 minutes of the game. That’s unfortunate, that’s the way the coin flips. That’s certainly not an excuse."

    Gold said he was hopeful that Lambie would be fit for next weekend's clash against the Cheetahs in Durban, but by Wednesday last week he had still not shown any improvement. 

    The flyhalf was knocked out cold by Irish flank CJ Stander in the first Test at Newlands back on June 11, and he has been sidelined with a concussion since. 

    "We were really hoping that Pat might be ready for this week but he wasn’t and even up until Wednesday he wasn’t showing any signs of improving," said Gold.

    "The concussion protocol is an important one and we’ll always look after our players but hopefully he can come back.

    "I don’t think Andre will be right, but hopefully he (Lambie) might be coming back and Dan du Preez as well. We’ll hold thumbs."

    The Sharks host the Cheetahs on Saturday with the Sunwolves, also in Durban, their last game of the group stages.

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