Lions injury concerns – question marks over availability of Whiteley and Cronje

Once the playoffs are underway, there’s no place to hide and rest. Coaches don’t have the luxury of giving their top players a breather and a week off. It’s every man for the job, and so the medical team members have their work cut out, massaging tired muscles, treating overstrained ligaments, and gingerly manipulating creaking joints. Some ligaments just can’t be fixed in time and so the Highlanders’ big Tongan prop Siua Halanukonuka has been left at home with ankle ligament damage. But playmaker Marty Banks has recovered from a hamstring injury and has joined the squad. For the Lions, captain Warren Whiteley is in the wars once again, which is not surprising given the intensity of his play. It’s not the shoulder he hurt in the third Test against Ireland; this time it’s a leg. – David O’Sullivan

From Sport24

Cape Town – The Lions are sweating over the availability of skipper Warren Whiteley ahead of their Super Rugby semi-final against the Highlanders in Johannesburg on Saturday (15:00 kick-off).

According to Netwerk24, Whiteley is struggling with a calf injury and only did light training with the team on Monday.

There is also doubt over reserve scrumhalf Ross Cronje, who injured his ankle while scoring a try against the Crusaders last weekend.

Lions captain Warren Whiteley will sit on the sidelines for six weeks due to injury. Pic: Twitter @TimesLIVE
Lions captain Warren Whiteley.

A final decision regarding both players’ availability will be made on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Lions also confirmed that flank Robert Kruger had surgery last week for an ankle fracture he sustained against the Jaguares on July 16.

He will be out of action for at least three months.

Coach Johan Ackermann on Tuesday named a 27-man squad for Saturday’s game, with the official team announcement to take place on Thursday.

Dillon Smit has been drafted in as cover in case Cronje fails his fitness test. – Sport24

Lions’ 27-man squad:

Forwards

Dylan Smith, Corne Fourie, Julian Redelinghuys, Jacques van Rooyen, Armand “Akker” van der Merwe, Malcolm Marx, Lourens Erasmus, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Ackermann, Warwick Tecklenberg, Warren Whiteley, Jaco Kriel, Cyle Brink, Steph de Witt

Backs

Faf de Klerk, Ross Cronje, Dillon Smit, Elton Jantjies, Jaco van der Walt, Courtnall Skosan, Ruan Combrinck, Sylvian Mahuza, Howard Mnisi, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Lionel Mapoe, Andries Coetzee

Source: http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/SuperRugby/lions-sweat-over-whiteley-20160726

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