Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond has revealed that Lood de Jager could avoid another surgery despite bending the pins in his shoulder.
De Jager underwent surgeries on both his shoulders in 2019, but suffered his latest setback when he went off injured in the closing stages of the Sharks’ win against the Leicester Tigers last weekend.
His was the third injury suffered by a Springbok lock in quick succession, with RG Snyman injuring his ACL ligament (ruling him out for the rest of the season) and Eben Etzebeth injuring his ribs.
The 27-year-old will have his treatment discussed by the Premiership club’s specialist and the expert who operated on him in South Africa.
While surgery may yet be the answer, Diamond insists that De Jager could be back in action as early as the Premiership semi-finals on 10 October.
‘The operations that Lood has had have been massively successful and the amount of stress that went through that shoulder against Leicester was such that it bent the pins in his shoulder,’ Diamond said.
‘I’m looking it at it as laymen but if I was looking it as an engineer then if I have something slightly bent and the machine still works then the machine goes out. If something is bent and the machine doesn’t work then you have to repair it. I’m hoping the surgeon looks at it like me, but I’m not a surgeon!
‘A lot of people do play with bent pins [after surgery]. I have got pins in my legs that have bent after the event and apparently if you are a welder and you weld two pieces then the weld is the strongest point and it appears that is what has happened to Lood.’
The Sale Sharks coach is also concerned over the fitness of Springbok hooker Akker van der Merwe, with the club bringing experienced No 2 Rob Webber back from the Jersey Reds on a short-term contract.