Injuries leave Scots toiling for South Africa Test

THE fall-out from Scotland's record home defeat to New Zealand will be physical as well as mental as the medical staff work to get at least seven of the squad, including captain Mike Blair, fit enough to face South Africa.

The Springboks will be looking to claim the third scalp of their tour and, with Scotland still reeling from a 49-3 hammering on Saturday, coach Andy Robinson does not have his troubles to seek.

The most obvious casualties from Saturday's game were Blair, whose return as skipper lasted 39 minutes before he was forced off with a head knock, and Max Evans, whose game ended on a stretcher in the final minutes.

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With Evans' brother Thom in the stand watching the game for the first time since confirming his retirement from international rugby, there was a sharp intake of breath when Max was put into the recovery position after his head collided with an opponent's hip, and then stretchered off the field after a long period of treatment that persuaded referee Dave Pearson and the two captains to call a halt to the game with over a minute remaining.

However, an SRU statement revealed yesterday that Evans' injury was not serious. The statement read: "Max Evans, who was able to attend the post-match function, sustained a shoulder 'stinger' and had been stretchered from the field merely as a precaution. Rory Lamont (tight quad) and Hugo Southwell (tight hamstring) were also seen by the medical team today. Among the forwards the casualties included Richie Gray (dead leg), John Barclay (ankle) and Alasdair Dickinson (shoulder)."

A number of other bumps and bruises were also reported and all injuries will be subject to further assessment over the next 24 to 48 hours.