‘Battered’ Sale Shark flanker Hendre Fourie in battle to play again

Hendre FourieEngland flanker Hendre Fourie has suffered another setback in his comeback from a debilitating shoulder injury.

The 32-year-old admits that the no-holds-barred approach which has seen him win eight caps has left him “broken”.

And there are concerns that he faces a tough battle to regain the storming form that  saw him burst into the England team.

The former Leeds and Rotherham fans’ favourite managed only a game-and-a-half for Sale last season.

But he had hoped to return fully fit from a second bout of shoulder surgery in time for the start of the new campaign.

But subsequent scans have shown the shoulder has not repaired as well as expected. With another scan scheduled for three weeks time, his career remains on hold indefinitely.

“The shoulder is going to take a little bit more time than expected, it’s going to be a while longer before I am back,” Fourie confirmed.

“It’s getting mind-numbing now; it’ll be exactly a year since I first had the shoulder injury when we play our pre-season game against Leinster on August 24.”

The injury denied Fourie a certain place in England’s World Cup squad last year and has so far prevented him showing Sale fans the form that makes him, when fit, the standout seven in the country.

He said: “It’s so hard to see all the blokes training and you can’t. You don’t feel part of the team. Hopefully it won’t be long though before I see some improvement.

“The shoulder gets really irritated when I do heavy weights.

“A scan showed the bone graft is only 55 per cent healed so we’re going to offload it for a bit and see if that makes a difference.

“Hopefully it won’t be too long before I am back.

“I do stuff on the field that normal people probably wouldn’t do and that is perhaps why my body is so broken.”

JON NEWCOMBE

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