Earls suffers injury setback

Ireland centre picks up shoulder injury

Last Updated: 31/05/09 12:42pm

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Earls: Likely to miss next tour match

Earls: Likely to miss next tour match

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Keith Earls is unlikely to be fit for the British and Irish Lions' second tour game on Wednesday due to shoulder joint trouble.

The Ireland centre picked up the injury during the Lions' 37-25 victory over a Royal XV in Rustenburg on Saturday.

Team doctor James Robson expects Earls to be on the sidelines for two or three days and will probably not be able to return for the clash with the Golden Lions.

Earls was not the only player to leave the field in pain on Saturday as Mike Blair rolled his ankle, Ricky Flutey picked up a slight strain and will miss a day's training and captain Paul O'Connell needed anaesthetic drops for an eye abrasion.

Also, fly-half Ronan O'Gara took a bang on his shoulder, Mike Phillips is recovering from a dead leg and prop Andrew Sheridan has blisters on his feet.

Positive

There is more positive injury news concerning two players who were forced to sit-out the opening game of the tour. Ireland forward Stephen Ferris is fit after suffering a leg muscle strain and Wales number eight Andy Powell is back in training today after a short lay-off with a hand injury.

The Lions are still optimistic that Powell's team-mate at Cardiff Blues, Leigh Halfpenny, will soon be able to link up with the rest of the squad in South Africa.

The 20-year-old stayed at home when the Lions flew out last Sunday in order to have intensive treatments on a thigh injury.

"Leigh is doing very well, by all accounts," Robson said.

"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."

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