World Cup-winning lock Lood de Jager will only feature for new club Sale Sharks in 2020 after sustaining a shoulder injury during the Springboks’ World Cup final win over England.
The former Vodacom Bulls lock suffered the injury mid-way through the first half and hobbled off with what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder. He is set to have a scan on Wednesday to confirm the extent of the injury and how long the road to recovery will be.
De Jager will likely have to undergo shoulder surgery, which will delay his debut for the Manchester-based side with up to four months.
Speaking to RugbyPass, Sale coach Steve Diamond confirmed that the club won’t be expecting De Jager until the new year, but is excited by what the 26-year-old will bring to his team.
‘Lood is having a scan Wednesday and we are probably looking at an operation and three to four months out, so we will get him in the spring by the look of things,’ said the Sale boss.
‘There is an old saying that you don’t miss what you have never had and we know we have a really good player on our hands. It will be great to have him in the squad after his recovery.’
De Jager is set to join a large contingent of South Africans at the English Premiership side, with Akker van der Merwe, Jono Ross, Coenie Oosthuizen, Rohan Janse van Rensburg and all three Du Preez brothers already on their books.
Also at the club is scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, who will be given a two-week break after the World Cup, along with England loose forwards Tom Curry and Mark Wilson.
‘I won’t be picking Faf, Tom and Mark until our second European game at home to La Rochelle, so they are going to have two weeks off,’ added Diamond.
‘At the La Rochelle game we will be advertising the return of Faf, Tom and Mark and we saw in 2003 the impact of the England win had terms of interest in the sport and we want to build on having someone like Faf because there isn’t anyone in the sport like him.
‘In rugby, there isn’t anyone else who can go head to head with Jake Ball and then stand and talk to royalty in the dressing room after the World Cup final wearing a pair of Springbok budgie smugglers!’
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