Sharks centre Paul Jordaan will miss the clash with Western Province this weekend, but might be replaced by fit-again Tim Whitehead.
The explosive midfielder took a heavy knock in the loss to Griquas in Kimberley last week and left the field nursing facial cuts, so although he will not be sidelined for long he will definitely not take the field at Kings Park this weekend.
Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards said that while it was a blow to lose the services of the on-form Jordaan, they were hopeful that Whitehead would be fit to play a role against his former team on Saturday.
"We're hoping there is a possibility that Tim Whitehead could be back this weekend, if that's the case, we lose one player but get one back which is fantastic from that point of view," he said.
Whether Whitehead is able to start the game alongside inside centre Meyer Bosman or comes off the bench to replace veteran Marius Joubert remains to be seen, but whoever marshals the midfield for the home side will have their hands full against the impressive Western Province centre pairing of Marcel Brache and JP du Plessis.
Reece Edwards said that a major strength of the Sharks backline at the moment is the versatility of their players, who have all shown an ability to adapt to different roles according to the needs of the team.
"We do have options of where we can move personnel, the nice thing about a lot of our backline players is that they are utility - they can move around into other positions - and we will do whatever is best for this team to get the best result, as well as obviously the way we want to play," he said.
The Sharks assistant coach said that although his side managed an upset victory over Western Province in the opening round at Newlands, they would have to show plenty of character to maintain their unbeaten home record in what could be a pivotal match in the new six-team Currie Cup.
"When we beat them in Cape Town, it wasn't expected, but this group has played some good passages of rugby at times, and the fact that it is a home game means we don't want to give it up.
"It's a massive game for us. We've seen sides move up and down the log regularly in this campaign, short as it is, and there are only five pool games left, so every game now is a massive one for us. There is huge determination from us to get a positive result on the weekend," added Reece-Edwards.