The good news to emerge from Sharks training yesterday was the return to fitness of Johann Muller, just as we predicted.
For the rest of the forward casualties picked up over the last few weeks, though, the picture is less rosy. Ryan Kankowski, as we know, is out for an indeterminate length of time with a thumb injury, while Keegan Daniel and Deon Carstens are still going to spend at least this week on the sidelines with shoulder and knee injuries respectively.
Alistair Hargreaves and John Smit, both of whom went off against the Reds, seem to have recovered well enough to play. It is likely that Muller will replace Wilhelm Steenkamp in the match 22, but there is still no certainty surrounding a replacement for Kankowski. Craig Burden is rumoured to be in the running to be the loose forward replacement, but without Carstens in the mix, that would leave the Sharks short of a forward replacement in any event, since the versaile former wing will no doubt be needed to cover hooker as well.
Justin Downey, Mike Rhodes and Skholiwe Ndlovu are all expected to start for the Sharks XV against the Pampas XV on Friday night, making it unlikely that any of them will feature for the Sharks proper a day later in Johannesburg. Plumtree seems to have a rabbit in his hat here and I am completely in the dark as to what it may be.
More on this one as it develops.Tweet