Two “innocuous” injuries could see Stuart Hogg and Zander Fagerson miss considerable time for both Glasgow Warriors and for Scotland, assistant coach Kenny Murray admitted yesterday.
Hogg has been sent home for a scan on the ankle injury he suffered two weeks ago against Munster, an injury that occurred only eight minutes into that game but saw the Scotland and Lions full back play on until just eight minutes from time.
While he didn’t play against Cheetahs and now won’t play against the Southern Kings this weekend, it won’t be known how long he is out until the scan results come in.
“He got that injury really early on in the Munster game and we thought just a week or so he would be able to recover from it, but it is still giving him a few problems,” said Murray. “We will get the results of the scan pretty soon and determine if anything else is needed or if there is any treatment required.
“It was actually a pretty innocuous thing and it was maybe a bit sore early on but he got medical treatment at the time and as far as we were concerned it was good to continue and play.
“It was one of those ones that was fine during the game but after it he felt a bit pain in it. It might be nothing much but we will find out the extent of it. For us and Scotland we want it scanned quickly.”
Fagerson is definitely out for a prolonged period with his injury suffered against the Cheetahs now confirmed as an ankle break.
“Zander is arriving in Cape Town, and he’ll be joining back up with the squad today and will stay with us until we fly home after the Kings game,” continued Murray.
“He’s had excellent medical care in South Africa and when he gets back home he will go for further scans with the appropriate medical staff, and that will let us know the extent of how long he is going to be out for.
“We can’t put a time on it at the moment, but it is likely to be months rather than weeks.”
Fagerson missed most of the Six Nations with a similar ankle break in January, but it’s not known if the prognosis is the same as then.
“Again, it was one of these really innocuous incidents, but it takes a bit man like that a bit of time to recover,” added Murray.
Meanwhile lock Brian Alainu’uese, gradually returning from injury, was reported to be in France undergoing a week’s assessment with Toulon, but as far as Glasgow are concerned he is still contracted to them until the end of the season.
“Brian is not on a trial, he is injured at the moment and has not played for a while,” added Murray. “He is out of contract next season but as far as we are concerned at the moment, he is in contract with the club.
“He will be looking at different options and wqe are in discussion with him about his future. Certainly at the moment but he is not able to run about or play on trial.
“As far as we are concerned he is having a discussion (with Toulon). That was the extent of it. There was no training involved.
“The main priority at the moment is to get him back on the pitch. He’s been out for a lengthy period of time which is obviously difficult for us with Tim Swinson and Kiran McDonald also injured.
“That has put us under a fair amount of pressure – but he’s started training, and while we are not able to give an exact date of when we think he will be back playing, but we hope it will be weeks rather than months.”
The Warriors squad will spend the week in Cape Town before moving to Port Elizabeth for their meeting with the Kings, followed by home games against Dragons and Zebre before their European campaign starts.
“They’ll be games we’re confident about, but saying that, I’m sure Cardiff were confident going to Zebre at the weekend and they obviously lost,” continued Murray.
“Whether you play the Italian teams home or away you can’t take them for granted, you have to show them more respect than we’ve maybe done in previous years.
“We’d like to put on a good show at home against these teams but obviously Saracens are going to pose a different threat in three weeks.”
Defensively, after conceding a try bonus point to the Cheetahs, things have to improve, agreed Murray.
“Defensively we’ve not started as well as we did last year. But second half at the weekend we showed, when we stick to our systems and keep hold of the ball, we’re really hard to break down. – the score was 38-5 to us in the second half I believe.
“We also showed against Munster when we defend and hold on to the ball we’re difficult to beat. We’ll continue to ramp that up going into the Saracens game.”