Whiteley's injury rests heavy on Lions' minds
Johannesburg - The Lions management will be anxiously waiting on news of Warren Whiteley’s injury, with the very real prospect that his Super Rugby season could be over after picking up an injury against the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.
According to SuperSport.com, Whiteley tore a pectoral muscle during the match and had to come off early on, and especially in a World Cup year there will be a very tense atmosphere as Whiteley awaits the results when seeing the medical staff on Monday.
The Lions captain was visibly emotional in the post-match television interview and if that is anything to go by, it may not be good news at all given the severity of the injury.
A torn pectoral muscle can take anywhere between a few weeks to several months to heal, depending on whether the player needs surgery or not. And in the worst case scenario it would put Whiteley very close to the start of the World Cup.
More than that though it will be a tough pill to swallow for Swys de Bruin’s side, especially after the way they lost in the dying minutes at Newlands on Saturday.
De Bruin admitted that losing his captain was a massive blow to the side during the game on Saturday and didn’t sound too positive about his chances of a positive medical assessment either.
“You guys know Wazza, he is an unbelievable person and leader and he is always in control. It was very bad for us when he went off. You saw how emotional he was at the end there, he is such a passionate guy and a total leader. It was bad for us. But saying that I am proud of Elton (Jantjies) and Kwagga (Smith) who stood in as captains - their leadership was good.
“It doesn’t look too positive, I saw the emotion in the change room now, but let’s hope and pray it will be okay,” he added.
De Bruin was also disappointed in the way his side let it slip at the end, although he felt they had done enough to win the game.
“We needed to take our chances, but I think we did enough at the end to win the game through defence. The balance is important to me, but it is like any game, we always say after the time we should have used our chances.
“It is disappointing. I thought we played tactically well. I thought after Loftus they would come with everything they had and we were ready. We prepared but congrats to Robbie and his team for fighting until the 84th minute and for surviving the Malcolm Marx steal there at the end. I don’t know how long you need to hold the ball to steal it, but I’m happy for Fleckie. I spoke to him before the game and there was a lot of pressure on him so for his sake I’m glad.”
The Lions will next face the Bulls in Johannesburg this Saturday (15:05 kick-off).
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