Sharks flyhalf Pat Lambie injured his shoulder in his team’s impressive 29-21 win over Toulon and is likely to be out of action for six to 10 weeks, according to coach Gary Gold.
Lambie bravely dived to secure a loose ball in the build-up to the Sharks’ third try, just before halftime, and injured the AC joint in his shoulder, forcing him off the field and into a sling.
The captain is undergoing further scans and the Sharks are hoping that what is basically a ligament injury in the shoulder is between a Grade II and Grade III tear and does not require surgery.
But that would still rule the Springbok star out of SuperRugby until April and the start of their tour to Australasia.
The Sharks led 24-0 early in the second half of their match against Toulon and displayed a great attitude on defence and pleasing intent and ruthlessness on attack.
Busy scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, incisive centre Paul Jordaan, the Du Preez twins, Daniel and Jean-Luc, and wing Lwazi Mvovo got the Sharks’ tries, while Toulon’s two tries and a penalty try all came from driving mauls.
Loose forward Jean-Luc du Preez, closely followed by his eighthman brother, got through a mountain of work and was the most impressive player on the field as the Sharks made an encouraging start to a year in which they have to improve on a disappointing 2015.