Kidney stone frustrates Lions captain Warren Whiteley
Regular Lions captain Warren Whiteley has passed a lot of time on the sidelines this season.
This week he has to pass a kidney stone‚ which is an impediment big enough to render him inactive as his teammates prepare to take on the Stormers at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Whiteley was admitted to hospital with the affliction on Sunday and although he has been discharged he now has to wait for it to make an exit.
His continued absence must be a source of great frustration for the player who has battled a pectoral muscle and a knee injury this season.
How long he will remain on the sidelines isn’t clear as a prognosis on his knee injury wasn’t forthcoming from team officials.
As if the medical bulletin wasn’t grim enough‚ the Lions may also be without vice captain Elton Jantjies this weekend.
Jantjies saw a doctor and sat out of training on Tuesday due to an unspecified illness.
In his place‚ Shaun Reynolds ran at first receiver in most of the Lions’ backline drills on Tuesday.
Jantjies disappointed in the Lions’ last match‚ throwing two passes that led to intercept tries for the Sharks.
The Lions have already lost promising flyhalf Gianni Lombard to long term injury‚ but Jantjies is expected to be named in the match day 23 on Thursday.
Although still guided by the ‘taking it game-by-game’ mantra‚ the Lions know they have to win their remaining matches against the Stormers‚ the Hurricanes and the Bulls if they want to qualify for the play-offs.
“We want to end on a high starting this weekend‚” said winger Courtnall Skosan.
The Lions have struggled to bring the same consistency to their game that helped propel them to the last three Super Rugby finals.
Skosan believes their performances this year cannot be weighed up against what had gone before.
“It is difficult to compare previous years to this year‚" he said.
"It is a World Cup year so you can’t really compare.
"We’ve been doing well for what we’ve been getting so far this season.”
Although the Lions enter a period in which they cannot afford to drop points in their last three matches‚ Skosan is unfazed by their attacking style that has yielded mixed results.
“The one thing about the Lions is that we never change our DNA‚" he said.
"We love to play the ball and play into the spaces.
"We’ll continue what we’ve been doing and hopefully we can get the results.”