Rugby: Knee injury double trouble for Jordaan

By Mike Greenaway

Paul Jordaan. Photo / Getty Images
Paul Jordaan. Photo / Getty Images

The injury bogey was inevitably going to strike the hitherto charmed Sharks but it's a case of lightning striking twice for centre Paul Jordaan, who is ruled out for a month with a knee injury not long into his comeback after missing most of last season with a serious knee problem.

Last May, at the Sharks' first training session on the first day of their overseas tour, the explosive midfield runner had just jogged on to the pitch when he stepped awkwardly and freakishly tore knee ligaments.

He was on the next plane home to join the long list of casualties that played a major role in derailing the Sharks' campaign last year.

The 22-year-old Jordaan suffered a knock to the knee against the Lions and a scope yesterday revealed damage that will sideline him for the next four matches, starting with the Reds at Kings Park tomorrow.

It's the third blow to the backline in less than a week for coach Jake White.

Last week first-five Patrick Lambie was a late withdrawal from the team that played the Lions because of illness; on Monday wing Odwa Ndungane was granted a week's compassionate leave when his father died; and now the injury to the talented Jordaan has proved more serious than initially thought.

Lambie is back to full health and will resume at first-five with Frans Steyn moving back to 12, but White has decisions to make at 13 and 14.

JP Pietersen has just arrived back from Japan but is yet to train with the squad and this could preclude him from the starting line-up, even though the circumstances are unusual. At a push, Pietersen could start at either 13 or wing, having played at centre on a number of occasions last season. But this might be a week too soon for Pietersen, whose fitness is yet to be fully evaluated.

It's not yet critical for the Springbok wing to be rushed back. Last week's 12, Heimar Williams, could shift to 13 and there is also the exciting S'bura Sithole, who had an outing in the position in the Sharks' pre-season warm-up match against the Lions at Ellis Park.

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