Vickerman heading home
November 5, 2006

Qantas Wallabies lock Dan Vickerman will miss the remainder of the Wallabies' Spring Tour campaign after it was confirmed today that he requires a reconstruction on his right shoulder.

Vickerman, who had the same shoulder reconstructed just fourteen months ago, will miss the remaining three Tests of the Spring Tour and the bulk of next year's Investec Super 14 season.

Wallaby team doctor Martin Raftery said that Vickerman is facing up to six months on the sidelines.

"It's the same shoulder that (Vickerman) had reconstructed in September last year but it is a new injury," said Raftery.

"We'll get the surgery done as soon as possible and start his rehabilitation, which will be six months," he added.

Vickerman, who played the entire eighty minutes of the Wallabies' drawn Test with Wales in Cardiff yesterday, aggravated the injury during the match.

"(The shoulder) hasn't been right since early in the Test season," said Vickerman, who suffered the injury initially during the Wallabies' Tri-Nations victory over South Africa in Brisbane on July 15.

"I've had some problems with it since then but I've been able to play through it. It's just gotten to the point where I need to have the surgery and get it right," he said.

Vickerman said that he was disappointed at the prospect of losing the majority of next year's Super 14, as well as the remaining Tests on the Spring Tour.

"We've got some pretty big games coming up and obviously I'm very disappointed that I'll miss the rest of the tour but I'll also (be out) for most of the Super 14 season, which is a fair chunk of footy," said the South African-born lock.

"But it's just part of footy and those are the cards I've been dealt. I just need to accept it and get the surgery done and focus on getting back to full fitness," he said.

Qantas Wallabies Coach John Connolly said that the loss of Vickerman is a major blow to the team.

"(Vickerman) is a world class player and he's extremely important to us," said Connolly.

"He's our main lineout caller and he provides a lot of leadership in the forwards," he added.

Connolly has not yet decided whether to call in a replacement for Vickerman in the 37-man Wallaby touring party.

"That's a decision we'll make within the next 24 hours," said Connolly.

Vickerman will depart for Australia tonight, arriving in Sydney at 6.25am AEDST on Tuesday morning (7 November).

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