Earls injury concern for Lions
May 31, 2009
Keith Earls had a Lions debut he would no doubt like to forget against the Royal XV on Saturday © Getty Images
Ireland centre Keith Earls is the latest injury concern for the British & Irish Lions after picking up a shoulder injury in their opening victory against the Royal XV on Saturday.
The 21-year-old Munster star suffered shoulder joint trouble during the unconvincing 37-25 victory and he is likely to be sidelined for at least two or three days - making him a doubt for the Lions' next tour clash against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Earls, who had a poor game yesterday, headed a list of injury concerns revealed by Lions team doctor James Robson this morning. Other players receiving treatment are scrum-half Mike Blair, who rolled his ankle, centre Ricky Flutey, who will miss training today because of a slight strain, while skipper Paul O'Connell required anaesthetic drops for a small cornea abrasion
Elsewhere, fly-half Ronan O'Gara took a bang on his shoulder, Mike Phillips is progressing well from a dead leg and prop Andrew Sheridan has severe blisters on his feet.
Robson, meanwhile, delivered an upbeat assessment of two players who missed the Royal XV encounter through injury.
Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris is now fit after suffering a leg muscle strain getting off the team bus last week. "It was a bizarre injury, and an early contender for bizarre injury of the tour," said Robson.
And Wales No.8 Andy Powell is back in training today doing weights after picking up a hand injury that denied him a starting place. The Lions also remain hopeful that Leigh Halfpenny will soon link up with the squad after staying at home for intensive treatment on a thigh injury.
"Leigh is doing very well, by all accounts," said Robson. "He did a very good kicking session on Friday, he had a day off yesterday, and he is now going to repeat his kicking and place kicking session."
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games