Sale, who are in Ulster's Heineken Champions Cup pool, may be forced to do without their influential Springbok Faf de Klerk for an extended period if a London specialist decides the scrumhalf needs surgery on a hip flexor injury he initially sustained during the Lions series.
"There are concerns that it could be months, but we need confirmation," said Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson. "There are three options: rehab, surgery or crack on; but we haven't had the decision yet."
De Klerk continued to play through the recent Rugby Championship but Sanderson rejected any suggestion the injury had been poorly managed.
“It is frustrating when someone comes back injured but surely there can’t be any coaches or organisations out there that set out to deliberately injure people?”