Sale Sharks' astonishing Lood de Jager update
NEWS: Sale boss Steve Diamond has revealed that World Cup-winning lock Lood de Jager has bent the metal pins inserted in one of his shoulders, but may still escape further surgery that would rule him out for three months.
De Jager, who underwent major surgery on both shoulders in 2019, suffered his latest injury in the Sale win last weekend over Leicester and his treatment will be the subject of a crucial discussion later on Friday between the Premiership club’s specialist and the expert who operated on De Jager in South Africa.
Diamond insists that De Jager could be back in time to play with Sale in the Premiership play-off semifinals on the weekend of October 10, but the specialists will have the final say and surgery may yet be the verdict.
The Sale director of rugby said: “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.
“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.”
While De Jager is out of Sunday’s home match with Bath, England flank Tom Curry is expected to be declared fit after his head knock while hooker Akker van der Merwe is having treatment on an ankle injury that is causing some concern and led to the return of Rob Webber from Jersey on a short-term contract.
Meanwhile, Diamond is backing the Rugby Football Union’s disciplinary system despite recent complaints about Owen Farrell’s five-game ban being too lenient and Bristol’s Pat Lam insisting players must be able to protect themselves after Siale Piutau was banned for three games.
Diamond said: “If you go ‘guilty guv’ and don’t have any previous, then you get a reduction and that is fair. The system has to stay as it is or you’re going to have anarchy. You have to grin and bear it and the Bristol and Worcester sending offs have become a bit of tit for tat.
“If you swing a punch, then expect a six-week reduced to three weeks ban. Nine and half times out of ten the RFU have got it right – and I’ve had more run-ins with them than anybody.”
By Chris Jones, @RugbyPass