Ruan Pienaar will undergo a scan on Monday to assess the extent of the damage on his injured ankle.
The Springbok selectors will be praying for the best case scenario – significant bruising that will heal in two weeks. However, watching Pienaar shake his head in dismay while being assisted off the field on Saturday, one suspects that that is the height of optimism.
Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford said Pienaar was in a significant amount of pain after the game, but added that their medical staff were hesitant in making a prognosis at this stage.
‘They treated him for the pain and inflammation, but you can’t put a timeframe on with these types of injuries before a scan is done,’ he told keo.co.za.
‘He’ll undergo a series of scans and tests [on Monday] and we’ll have more clarity after that. I suppose the lucky thing is that it isn’t a recurrence of the knee injury that kept him out for so long recently. We’re hoping it’s nothing too serious, but we’re prepared to hear the worst. You just never know.’
The Springboks are fast running out of flyhalf options. World Cup winning 10, Butch James, was ruled out of the Lions tour a fortnight ago, after sustaining an injury in a match for Bath. Frans Steyn has been sidelined with a knee injury, and while he is reported to be recovering quicker than expected, it isn’t certain that he will make the tour. In addition, it is a widely held view that he is better suited to inside centre, one shared by Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.
Bulls pivot Morne Steyn has been solid to date, and if De Villiers is to stay true to his commitment to pick on merit, Steyn has to be the prime candidate for the No 10 shirt at present.