Lood de Jäger has been hit by a third serious shoulder injury and is set to miss Sale’s bid for the Gallagher Premiership title after being hurt helping defeat Leicester 40-31 yesterday.

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RugbyPass understands the World Cup winning lock “popped” a shoulder in the second half and will have a scan on the injury today to establish the extent of the problem and a possible timeline for his return.

De Jäger underwent reconstruction surgery on both shoulders in 2019 complicating the current situation and going under the knife yet again will be one option – depending on how badly he has been hurt.

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De Jager’s debut for Sale was delayed by his length recovery from the surgery to repair his left shoulder which he damaged 21 minutes into the World Cup final win over England in Yokohama and he has become the main lineout target for his new club while also making a significant impact in the loose. Sale moved back up to second place with the win over Leicester but the cost appears to have been high and, as a result, Cobus Wiese, who has just joined Sale from the Stormers will make his debut against Saracens on Wednesday.

With former captain Josh Beaumont ready to return after knee reconstruction surgery, Sale’s line out options will be significantly enhanced but the loss of 6ft 9ins de Jager is still going to be keenly felt as the season hurtles to a rapid conclusion. With next season starting in November, Sale will be concerned that their Springbok lock will not be ready and given his history of shoulder problems, the club will not rush him back.

De Jager’s shoulder nightmares started in Bulls colours when he missed three months of the Super Rugby season at the start of 2019 after requiring surgery to repair damage suffered against the Jaguares and he faced a race against time to be fit for the World Cup in Japan.

He then needed surgery after injuring the other shoulder in the final and the extent of that problem was revealed when he shared footage on Instagram showing how unstable his shoulder was.

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