Beast injury not long-term

Sharks loosehead prop Tendai Mtawarira will miss a few weeks, rather than months, after it was revealed that his injury is not as severe as first feared.

Mtawarira limped off during the first half of the Sharks' loss to the Cheetahs at the weekend with a suspected calf tear, but after undergoing scans on Monday, the injury has been downgraded to a calf strain.

'Losing an international is a big loss to any team, obviously we aren’t happy about losing Beast, but there’s nothing we can do, we have to move on,' said assistant coach Sean Everitt. 'Fortunately we do have a big squad with a lot of depth in that position, so Dale Chadwick steps up and we have a youngster who did very well last year in Thomas du Toit. So it’s an opportunity for them to put their hands up.'

In further good news, captain Bismarck du Plessis will be available for selection this week, after failing a late fitness test ahead of the opener.

Eighthman Ryan Kankowski has also returned from Japan and will undergo a series of fitness and medical tests before he is considered available for selection.

Frans Steyn and JP Pietersen are still involved with their Japanese clubs, but the two will meet in the All-Japan Championship at the weekend, with the loser returning to Durban next week.

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