Scarlets wait on George North injury update
THE Scarlets will today receive a further medical update on Wales wing George North, who was stretchered off with a neck injury in Friday night's heavy defeat to Ulster in Belfast.
North left the field with his neck in a brace after taking an accidental knee to his head midway through the second half.
He was later taken to hospital for precautionary X-rays and scans.
The 20-year-old was cleared to fly back with the Scarlets squad on Saturday morning with the region issuing a statement saying North suffered no "significant or serious" damage.
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The statement added: "George will be assessed further by the Scarlets medical team on Monday.
"It is too early to assess the full extent of the injury or indeed the recovery period at this stage."
While North could miss the remaining two rounds of the Scarlets' Heineken Cup campaign, Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley will be hopeful of the blockbusting wing recovering in time for the opening round of this season's RBS 6 Nations against Ireland in Cardiff on February 2.
North himself took to social media site Twitter to thank people for their well wishes following the incident.
He said: "Thanks for all the messages. I'm ok, bit of a neck injury. Should be fine all precautionary!
"Thanks to all the medical staff at Ravenhill. Both the Scarlets and Ulster medical teams were awesome."
With matches against European heavyweights Leinster and Clermont Auvergne to come, the loss of one of their chief attacking threats will be another major blow to the Scarlets — who have now lost five of their last six games in all competitions.
The 47-17 defeat at the hands of runaway league leaders Ulster has also seen them slide from second to fifth in the RaboDirect Pro12 table with Glasgow, Leinster and the Ospreys all leapfrogging the West Walians over the weekend.
Head coach Simon Easterby will be anxiously waiting on the roll call at Parc y Scarlets with 12 players having missed the trip to Belfast because of injury, while flanker Johnathan Edwards came off with a hamstring injury in the first half.
"There is no doubt that Ulster are a quality side, but we are hugely disappointed," said backs coach Mark Jones.
"We have to learn the harsh lessons. That result is unacceptable.
"As a coach you don't want to be associated with a result like that and neither do the players.
"But it is not the end of the season and we have to move on.
"We are professional sportspeople and we have to make sure we prepare the team well for the next game.
"We have got the three-times European champions looming on the horizon and what a great game to focus the mind.
"We have to be at our best to play them and the guys will be keen to put this result right I am sure."