Rugby World Cup-winning lock Lood de Jager may not make his Sale debut for up to six months after requiring surgery on a dislocated shoulder.
The 26-year-old agreed a three-year deal with Sharks in April.
De Jager only lasted 21 minutes of the win against England in Saturday’s final but made five appearances for the Springboks during the tournament.
He will have surgery on his right shoulder in Cape Town next week once swelling around the joint has reduced.
De Jager is one of a growing South African contingent at Sale. Scrum-half Faf de Klerk is a Sharks regular as are Akker van der Merwe, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Coenie Oosthuizen and the Du Preez brothers Daniel, Robert and Jean-Luc.