Whiteley visits surgeon, misses Lions' Oz flight
Johannesburg - Lions captain Warren Whiteley had to visit an orthopaedic surgeon on Tuesday as the rest of his squad departed on a four-match tour of Australasia.
Originally named in the touring squad, Whiteley was set to make his long-awaited comeback from injury in Friday's clash against the Waratahs, but that will not happen after he re-injured his knee in training on Monday.
"Warren returned to training yesterday (Monday) and while he was running he felt a click in his knee," Lions team doctor Rob Collins explained.
"The knee swelled up a bit over night and he doesn't feel comfortable with it. We just want to take a precaution and send him for a scan. He'll see an orthopaedic surgeon."
While the Lions are still awaiting the results of that scan, Collins was confident that the injury would not keep Whiteley out of the whole tour.
"Depending on what the results show, he will join us later," he said.
"With examining him, we can't find anything in that knee that we're worried about. That's why we're getting the MRI scan.
"It's very unlikely to be something that is going to keep him out for an extended period of time."
Lions coach Swys de Bruin acknowledged that losing Whiteley again was not ideal.
"We are in a game where these things happen, but it is a blow for us. He is captain fantastic," the coach said.
After Friday's clash against the Waratahs (11.45, SA time), the Lions take on the Reds, Hurricanes and Highlanders before returning home.