Rugby World Cup
Hernandez in World Cup fitness race
ESPNscrum Staff
March 17, 2011
Argentina's fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez (C) runs with the ball during the Rugby union World Cup pool D match Ireland v. Argentina at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on September 30, 2007
Juan Martin Hernandez was a major part of Argentina's World Cup campaign in 2007 © Getty Images

Juan Martin Hernandez faces a race to be fit for Argentina's Rugby World Cup campaign after undergoing surgery on a knee ligament injury.

The 28-year-old Racing Metro fly-half was injured on club duty at the beginning of March, having already missed a chunk of the season due to a thigh problem, and faces five months on the sidelines.

Argentina begin their World Cup against England on September 10, with chief surgeon Mario Larrain refusing to rule Hernandez out at this stage.

"Everything went well," he told AFP It was a difficult operation and we are now hoping that the body does its work in terms of healing. It will take at least five months for him to be able to resume playing rugby.

"It is still possible that he can play at the World Cup but we have to wait and see how his rehabilitation evolves."

Pumas team doctor Guillermo Botto had earlier predicted a six-month absence for Hernandez, one of the stars of their march to third place in 2007.

"Usually this kind of surgery takes six months to recover from. And we're exactly six months away from the World Cup," he said. "So we have to be optimistic and work towards that. He will obviously not have the ideal training, and will miss the rhythm of playing matches before the World Cup, but he may be fit to play in New Zealand."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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