Having been ruled out of Super Rugby last month, it appears Sharks pivot Pat Lambie may be fit to feature in the final stages.
The diminutive fly-half tore a biceps tendon during his side's 23-19 loss to the Bulls in Pretoria late in March - their only defeat of the season to date - and was expected to play no further part in the Sharks' 2014 campaign.
But the Natal Mercury reports that Lambie is progressing well with his treatment and recovery programme, and could be fit for selection ahead of the playoffs in July.
Sharks boss Jake White, who has steered his side to the top of the overall standings thanks to seven wins from eight games, intimated his playmaker may be available for the final four or five marches of the season.
But the World Cup-winning coach will be without flying winger Tonderai Chavanga for Friday's clash with the Highlanders, who hobbled off in Saturday's 19-8 win over the Cheetahs with a hamstring injury.
Hamstring problems also currently sideline JP Pietersen, Paul Jordaan and Fred Zeilinga, but Odwa Ndungane may be fit in time for the match on Friday.