British & Irish Lions
Earls injury concern for Lions
May 31, 2009
Lions centre Keith Earls loses the ball, Royal XV v British & Irish Lions, Royal Bakofeng Stadium, Phokeng, Rustenburg, South Africa, May 30, 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."


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