Edinburgh and Scotland loose-head prop Rory Sutherland is still awaiting news about whether he needs surgery on the shoulder injury sustained during the final match of this year’s Six Nations three weeks ago, but even if an operation is not required then it seems highly unlikely that the 27-year-old will be able to prove his fitness in time to tour with the Lions this summer. 

The squad for that trip to South Africa will be named in two-and-a-half weeks’ time on Thursday 6th May, with the Lions playing a warm-up match against Japan at Murrayfield on 26th June immediately before departure for South Africa. 

“Rory Sutherland is having more scans on his shoulder to decide whether he needs surgery or whether it can just be rehabbed,” said Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. 

“First diagnosis was a lot better than it could have been, potentially, so we’re hoping now that Rory will have another scan which will show a bit more detail and, hopefully, we’ll be able to avoid the surgeon’s knife.” 

“It would still be several weeks if it was non-surgical,” Cockerill added. “It would put him in the timeframes potentially to be in and around some of those tours but it would be touch and go I think.” 

Sutherland’s fellow Hawick man Darcy Graham is also facing a lengthy period out of action with the winger havig undergone surgery on a long-standing shoulder injury. 

“That was scanned last week and the best form of treatment, given where we are in the season, is to have surgery to repair the injury, and that will probably be the best part of between 12 and 16 weeks to recover,” explained Cockerill.  

Meanwhile, the prognosis was more positive for hooker Stuart McInally, who has been out of action since the start of January with a neck injury. Cockerill said he hopes to have the former Scotland captain back in action for the final 1872 Cup game of the season against Glasgow Warriors in two weeks’ time. 

Edinburgh kick off their Rainbow Cup campaign by welcoming Zebre to Murrayfield next Friday night.