From Paul Morgan, Editor of Rugby World Magazine
Day Four of the Lions and it is all about the injuries, or rather the “bumps and bruises” as Lions doctor, James Robson described them to the assembled media in the Sandton Sun hotel today.
You can see exactly why Dr Robson has been in charge of the medical needs of the Lions for the past four tours. He told us that the 2009 Lions are in far better shape than the 2005 variety at the same stage, and that no one had any significant injuries.
He did award the “Most Bizarre Injury of the Tour” award to Stephen Ferris as he strained his calf getting off the bus. I do have some sympathy with the Ulsterman as I did the same last autumn getting off a train at Strawberry Hill Station, and it took me about six weeks to shake it off, although I didn’t have Dr Robson to treat me!
Andrew Sheridan ended yesterday’s game with what Dr Robson described as “terrible blisters” so when I saw the Sale prop a few minutes later I asked after his health and he showed me a whopper on the ball of his foot, about the circumference of an orange! But Sheridan didn’t seem unduly worried…I suppose after propping for an afternoon a few blisters is small potatoes.
The only person who will miss Wednesday’s game against the Golden Lions is Keith Earls, who picked up a shoulder injury right at the start of the match, which may explain some uncharacteristic mistakes from the Munsterman.
Riki Flutey, who looked good when he came on, has a right knee strain, Luke Fitzgerald a knee injury and Paul O’Connell is suffering from a scratched cornea, which was probably from a poke in the eye. Dr Robson ruled out skulduggery and wouldn’t rule out O’Connell doing it to himself!
Mike Phillips has a dead leg, but Dr Robson described him as a “model patient” as he iced it immediately and carried on icing it through the night.
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Andy Powell seems to be recovering from his hand injury, which wasn’t caused by an insect bite, but which for two days looks to be very serious. No broken bones means he should be fine soon.
No decision on Leigh Halfpenny’s arrival has been made, but as it was a 10-14 day injury, we may not see him on tour until next weekend at the earliest.