June International Tours

Lions concerned about injuries



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While the Springboks’ injury list after Saturday’s first Test in Durban will only be known on Monday, the British and Irish Lions team doctor James Robson (pictured) on Sunday announced a long list of niggles but with little concern about any serious injuries.

Fullback Lee Byrne hurt his foot during the pre-match warm-up and Robson said that Byrne also strained his foot during the game.

”With it only 12 hours after coming off, we have only done our initial assessment and the aim at the moment is to get him to the point where he is fit for selection on Tuesday (against the Emerging Springboks at Newlands).

”It is probably a mild recurrence of a previous injury -plantafasciotous or inflammation or tearing of the structure that holds the arch of the foot principally – it is a very painful and often recurrent condition but he has played well on this tour.

“It may have well been that he has pulled a few fibres but he is certainly walking around fine this morning (Sunday).

“Tommy Bowe suffered a slight strain to his elbow in yesterday’s game but should be fit for selection for Tuesday if that’s the want of the coaches.

“Tom Croft, who scored two tries, strained his calf during the game and a few hours later appeared to have a bit of a twisted knee but has improved massively overnight and has done a very good pool session with Phil Pask this morning, so looks to be well,” said Robson.

Prop Gethin Jenkins has a bit of a black eye according to Robson, ”but otherwise he is well other than some battering and bruising.” Adam Jones and Lee Mears likewise have a few bumps and bruises.

Paul O’Connell did have some issue with a couple of teeth on Saturday but was fine on Sunday morning, according to Robson. Jamie Roberts took a blow to the same shoulder as he did in one of the previous games but recovered within a couple of minutes and is fine, according to the Lions website.

Brian O’Driscoll is also fine. Robson said they took the usual precautions when a player goes down on the field but no loss of consciousness, no headache and no issues were noticeable on Sunday morning at all.

Robson also reported on the players continuing to work through injury: “We’ve seen Stephen (Ferris) for an hour on Sunday morning and although he’s worked phenomenally well and made marked progress he is still on the timeline for a return to rugby activities in two or three weeks which takes him past the end of our tour.

“James Hook continues to make excellent recovery from his head knock last week and he has been doing some further testing this morning. He’s now done various grades of activity with no ill effect.

He’s done non-contact rugby activities with no ill effect and we have high hopes for him to be passed tomorrow (Monday). He is of course subject to an independent neurological assessment which takes the decision out of our hand as per IRB regulations.

“The assessment takes place tomorrow (Monday) ahead of selection for Tuesday match. “Andrew Sheridan still has some back pain after last week’s game but has done a good session this morning.

“Martyn Williams is in good fettle following cut to his knee last week.”

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