There was some good news for Springbok and Sharks captain John Smit, who was told on Monday that there is ‘no structural damage’ as a result of a neck injury he suffered.
However, the bad news is that veteran Bok lock Johann Muller has played his last game for the Sharks, after fracturing the same arm that sidelined him for a lengthy period last year.
Sharks team doctor Craig Roberts told rugby365.com on Monday that the results of scans done on Smit, following an injury scare in the aftermath of his team’s 19-27 Super 14 loss to the Bulls, revealed only “mild ligament damage”.
However, Smit, at this stage, remains a doubtful starter for the encounter with the Stormers in Durban on Saturday.
“We are working on it,” Roberts said, adding: “There is still a lot of stiffness and we will see later in the week how he progresses.”
Roberts said Smit injured his neck when the timing at a scrum engagement went awry against the Bulls.
Smit’s injury follows conformation that fellow Bok hooker Bismarck du Plessis has been sidelined for about three months, following neck surgery last week.
The Sharks doctor also revealed that Muller, who heads of to Irish province Ulster in July, fractured the same arm that sidelined him last year.
“It happened when he tried to tackle Wynand Olivier,” Roberts told rugby365.com.
“He collided with Wynand’s knee and it bent the plate [which was inserted last year to support the bone] and fractured the radius behind the plate.”
Muller’s lay-off will be “at least six weeks” and that will take him well beyond the end of the Super 14 season, after which he will join-up with the Ulster squad on July 1.
“The plate actually protected him,” Roberts said, adding: “If it was not there it would have shattered the bone.”
The Sharks doctor said he was still waiting for the results of scans on a few other players, with the team suffering plenty of “bumps and bruises” in the physical encounter with the Bulls.
Article courtesy of Rugby 365 editor Jan De KoningTweet