Welsh Rugby
North sidelined for three months
ESPNscrum Staff
December 8, 2010
Wales winger George North touches down, Wales v South Africa, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, November 13, 2010
North stepped up to the international stage with Wales last month © Getty Images
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Teams: Scarlets | Wales

Scarlets wing George North will be out for three months after undergoing shoulder surgery.

The 18-year-old, who scored two tries on his Wales debut against South Africa, picked up the injury on international duty and is now likely to miss all of next year's Six Nations Championship.

Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies said, "Our policy with any soft tissue injury is to get a scan done immediately to ascertain the extent of the injury. The scan revealed in this case that George required surgery to ensure there was no further damage.

"Potentially if not repaired, he could have suffered a dislocated shoulder which would have been a lot worse for such a young player at the very start of his career. In today's physically demanding game, it is crucial that the best interests of our players' long-term playing career are supported fully.

"It is obviously disappointing and frustrating for George and it's a blow to his colleagues at the Scarlets as he's had such a great start to his career in the senior team. But this is the right decision for him as a player and ultimately for the Scarlets in terms of getting him back fully fit and well and helping him develop further as a player with a very bright rugby career."

The news will be of great concern to Wales coach Warren Gatland who has already been stripped of the services of Ospreys winger Shane Williams for a minimum of 10 weeks after he suffered a similar shoulder injury against the Springboks in Cardiff.

It is a further blow for Scarlets, who are missing props Peter Edwards and Deacon Manu for up to 12 weeks with fractured forearms and Rhys Thomas currently recovering from a fractured leg. As a result, Scarlets today registered 20-year-old tight-head prop Simon Gardiner in their European squad.

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