TAKAPUNA, New Zealand (AP) -France flyhalf David Skrela is likely to be sidelined for at least one match after injuring his right shoulder in Saturday's 47-21 World Cup win over Japan.
Skrela, who went on as a replacement for Francois Trinh-Duc in the second half against Japan, has heavy bruising to his right shoulder and was one of two players hurt in France's opening match. Center Fabrice Estebanez has a badly bruised lower back.
"David has had operations on both shoulders ... at one stage we were scared because he was suffering from a near total paralysis of his arm and couldn't move it,'' France coach Marc Lievremont said Sunday. "He has big, big bruising, and a compressed nerve.''
France plays its next Pool A match against Canada in Napier on Sunday.
"Right now it's hard to envisage a recovery time,'' Lievremont said. "David will probably be absent for the Canada match.''
However, Lievremont is hoping Skrela will be fit later in the tournament and doesn't have any plans to draft in a replacement for his 30-man squad.
"We're not envisaging (a call up) for the moment,'' he said, adding that "Fabrice is OK, it's (just) a bruise.''
Center Maxime Mermoz hurt his knee just before the tournament, but he is making good progress and has a chance of being involved against Canada, Lievremont said.
Winger Alexis Palisson, who has been struggling with a lower back muscle injury, could return to training over the next few days.
"It's getting better,'' Lievremont said. "We hope to see him out on the pitch during the week.''
France scored six tries against Japan but at one stage looked vulnerable as John Kirwan's team pulled back to 25-21.
Lievremont may have to shuffle his team around against Canada, with a match against New Zealand coming six days later.