The Sharks are again being hampered by numerous injury setbacks before the Super Rugby season officially kicks off, no less than seven stars out for anything between 4 weeks and 8 weeks.
The injury list has grown even though the last official warm-up match had no injury concerns. With Willem Alberts having to to be operated on after months of discomfort to his shoulder (which will put him out of the game for four weeks)
In addition, Butch James had a small procedure done to his knee that will have him miss 1 or 2 matches at the start of the season.
The injury cloud started last year already with Conrad Hoffmann being injured again with the Sharks then offering him no further contract, he has since returned to Cape Town where it is understood he in going back into his normal profession and then, where possible, playing club rugby.
“The most serious injuries are those of Springbok hooker Bismark du Plessis (7 more weeks) and Keegan Daniel, Sharks Captain elect (4 more weeks)”, add to that Butch James (2 weeks), Willem Alberts (4 weeks), Tim Whitehead (7 weeks) and Dale Chadwick (4 weeks).
Of the 7 players mentioned, 6 are players that would be in the starting lineup on match days or at worst bench options, only Conrad Hoffmann was at best a 3rd place option at scrumhalf. It is also not yet known who will be 3rd place cover for scrumhalf at the Sharks, I would suggest the obvious cover being Hanco Venter, the current Sharks Vodacom Cup scrumhalf, as well as the current Springbok Under 20 scrumhalf.