Super Rugby - Sharks forward Alberts faces lay-off

Sharks loose forward Willem Alberts will miss the start of the Super Rugby season after his franchise revealed that the South Africa international will undergo surgery on a shoulder injury on Tuesday.

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Crusaders' Kieran Read is tackled by Sharks' Willem Alberts in the Super Rugby match at Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand, Saturday, June 25, 2011

Alberts will be out for at least four weeks after what the Sharks described as a "small procedure" on an ongoing problem that has already kept him out of two pre-season friendlies.

He is one of five Sharks regulars who will miss Saturday's opening match away at the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein through injury, officials said.

The 27-year-old Alberts has played in the last nine internationals for South Africa and has 20 Test caps in total.

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