Scotland will find out this week if there is any hope of Finn Russell being back for the visit of Wales a week on Saturday as a Guinness Six Nations campaign which began with such hope has turned into a battle to salvage pride.
The injury ravaged Scots were painfully exposed in Paris on Saturday as France ran amok in the spring sunshine and inflicted a humbling 27-10 defeat on Gregor Townsend’s men.
After being hit by a raft of injuries in key positions the coach will be hoping to get some players back to face a Grand Slam-chasing Welsh team but he admitted that the nature of Russell’s head injury, which he picked up playing for Racing 92 a week past Sunday, means it is hard to say how things will go.
“We’ll see on Finn, we’ll see next week and the week after whether he’s recovered,” said Townsend, who started Peter Horne at stand-off at the Stade de France before bringing young Adam Hastings on for most of the second half.
“Things are put back because there’s no game to come back to so there’s no need to push him [Russell] on the next stage.
“He was with his club yesterday [Friday] and with us today [Saturday] but I didn’t have any update on whether he’s restarted the return to play protocols.
“Regarding both Peter and Adam, they had some positive parts to their game and some parts they’d like to take back, which is the life of a stand-off,” continued the coach.
“From Peter’s perspective I thought his effort was huge, he got a couple of big hits in the game and came back on and played really well. He obviously had to adapt to playing at 12, contributed to at least two line breaks and maybe more.
“Adam made a good impact in the game. He made two or three line breaks and we were finding holes in the second half, that could have been because of Adam’s performance, or it could have been just the nature of the game and the French defence wasn’t as strong at that point in the game.”
There were no obvious injury concerns for Scotland but a lot of bruised bodies after an intensely physical Test match, with wing Tommy Seymour suffering a badly banged up hand, which was bandaged after the game.