Injuries blow to Scotland’s hopes of reviving Six Nations’ season
SCOTLAND face the prospect of trying to revive their RBS 6 Nations campaign without flanker Alasdair Strokosch and wing Max Evans.
Gloucester forward Strokosch suffered a fractured hand in Scotland's 27-13 loss to Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday and was examined by his club's medical team yesterday.
Scotland team doctor James Robson said in a statement issued by the Scottish Rugby Union: "Recovery from such an injury takes typically between four to six weeks."
Scotland were last night still waiting for news over Castres back Evans, who was forced off with an ankle injury and left Cardiff on crutches and wearing an immobilising boot.
Robson added: "Max will be seen by the specialist ankle surgeon John McKinley at Spire Murrayfield Hospital today (Monday) and we will await a further update later this week."
Strokosch won his 25th cap in the match with Wales and was replaced by John Barclay, who could now team up with Ross Rennie and David Denton in the back row for the next match in the tournament, the February 26 clash with France.
Denton (foot) and prop Ed Kalman (neck) also required medical attention after the loss and will be monitored this week before the Scotland squad reconvene next week to prepare for Les Bleus.
The match with World Cup finalists France has taken on added significance as Scotland face a depressingly-familiar Six Nations salvage job.
Sunday's loss was their fourth on the bounce in all competitions and the ninth Six Nations loss from 12 since head coach Andy Robinson's reign began.
It has also been confirmed by Robinson that Scotland defence coach Graham Steadman will leave when his current contract expires at the end of this season, while speculation continues to rage around the future of attack specialist Gregor Townsend.
The Scottish record against France in Six Nations combat hardly inspires confidence.
Scotland have triumphed just once in 12 meetings, winning 20-16 at Murrayfield in 2006, but the average Six Nations scoreline between the countries is 26-11 in France's favour.
Scotland, meanwhile, remain 11th in latest the International Rugby Board world rankings published yesterday, one place above Italy but eight adrift of France, six behind England, five lower than Wales and three behind Ireland.