He's doubtful, which is not good news for us
Sharks coach John Plumtree is playing a waiting game ahead of the Super Rugby semifinal encounter with the Stormers.
Plumtree confirmed that Springbok utility back Patrick Lambie remains doubtful for the trip to Newlands on Saturday.
The 21-year-old missed last week's 30-17 play-off victory over the Reds in Brisbane due to a recurring ankle injury and was left at home to recuperate.
It was hoped that he would be fit for the last-four clash in Cape Town, but Plumtree admitted his recovery is not progressing as fast as expected.
"Patrick didn't train today [Tuesday]," the Sharks coach told a media scrum in Durban.
"He's doubtful, which is not good news for us, but Louis [Ludik] has been going really well at fullback."
The Sharks held their first training session on Tuesday morning following their return from Australia, though it was only a light workout for their weary-legged players.
Plumtree also confirmed that junior Bok Paul Jordaan, who hobbled off against the Queensland side due to a hamstring injury, faced a race against time to be fit for this weekend's clash.
"Paul pulled up with a hamstring injury again, but we're hoping he's still got a chance of making.
"He did train today, but there's definitely a problem with his hammy, we hope we can get him ready in time."
The Sharks coach admits that special care and attention will be given to how they prepare for the match against the Stormers, not just because of the occasion but also what they've been through recently.
"We'll be up for it alright, but we've got to be smart about our preparation this week," the Sharks mentor said.
"Everyone will be talking about the travel factor, but we knew we'd have to travel again if we got through our play-off.
"We've had to come back to South Africa and the players are positive, at least they can sleep in their own beds and spend time with family. It's always nice coming home."
Looking ahead to Saturday's semifinal, with both sides having been successful against each other this year, Plumtree spoke of mutual respect.
"It's the nature of Allister [Coetzee] and I, to talk up the opposition, but I've always really admired the Stormers," he said, adding: "They're obviously well led because they've performed so consistently and finished on top of the SA conference.
"They very rarely lose at home and it will be a huge challenge for us. It's going to be a massive game."
He added that with the log positions, the two teams have had a very different route to where they find themselves now.
"They've been sitting back and waiting while we're coming back after some travel, it's a different scenario for both teams this week, I'm sure they will have been doing a lot of preparation. We've built up some good momentum over the last few weeks, but we are coming up against a different animal this week, there are pros and cons for both sides."