Super Rugby round five
Berrick Barnes dislocates right thumb
March 16, 2013
The Waratahs suffered another depressing loss, against the Cheetahs (video available only in Australia)

Berrick Barnes has suffered another injury setback, the New South Wales and Wallabies playmaker dislocating his right thumb in the Waratahs' 27-26 Super Rugby loss to the Cheetahs in Sydney.

Barnes was relieved to discover the extent of the injury, however, after initial reports that he had fractured his right wrist.

"He dislocated his thumb, that's why he came off," Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said. "It went back in obviously so we'll just see what happens. We won't know [how serious it is] for at least 48 hours."

The Waratahs held big hopes that Barnes would steer them back on track after early losses to the Brumbies and Queensland Reds, but the pivot walked from the field in the 17th minute of his comeback game at Allianz Stadium clutching his right wrist after Cheetahs winger Raymond Rhule had scored his first try in the corner.

The injury will limit Barnes' chances to impress Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, with the Test fly-half and inside centre spots for the British & Irish Lions series in June and July still up for grabs.

Barnes has endured injuries throughout his career, including shoulder and knee problems in 2008, a Wallabies Tour-ending rolled ankle in 2009, "footballer's migraine" in 2011, and a punctured lung during the 2012 Rugby Championship that also saw him miss the Spring Tour. The 50-Test player had only just returned from the sidelines after injuring his knee in the Waratahs' first trial game of the season in January.

The former Wallabies vice-captain, 26, is off contract at the end of the season, and there is speculation he is weighing up his options for an overseas move to Japan.


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