News in Brief
Muliaina adds to Chiefs' injury woes
The Chiefs' Mils Muliaina will be out for three weeks with a broken thumb
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- The Chiefs' injury woes are nearing a critical point after captain and fullback Mils Muliaina broke his thumb in last night's Super 14 defeat of the Highlanders in Mt Maunganui.
Veteran All Black Muliaina will be sidelined for a minimum of three weeks and a worst case scenario could see him miss the remainder of their campaign after suffering the injury in the first of half of the 27-21 win. He played out the remainder of the game in considerable pain, with the thumb fully strapped. A scan tomorrow night should reveal whether the injury is a simple break, which could see him back playing later this month, or a dislocation, which may require a pin insertion and a longer recovery time.
"It's definitely broken," Muliaina told reporters soon after fulltime. "I will have x-rays on Monday and could be under the knife next week."
It was just his fourth game this season after being allowed to sit out the team's three-match road trip that kick-started their campaign. His absence adds to an injury list that saw several key players miss last night's win, which has the Chiefs climb into sixth place.
Winger Sitiveni Sivivatu (knee), flanker Tanerau Latimer (knee) and prop Nathan White (back strain) may return for Friday's match against the Bulls in Hamilton but but hooker Aled de Malmanche (thumb fracture), prop James McGougan (back) and lock Kevin O'Neill (Achilles tendon) will be sidelined for several weeks yet. Adding to coach Ian Foster's headaches were blows last night to hooker Hika Elliot (neck) and first five-eighth Stephen Donald (head knock) which has them in doubt to face the defending champions from South Africa.
- The Ospreys have moved to dismiss rumours that coach Scott Johnson, 47, has suffered a life- threatening heart attack.
Concerns for Johnson's health surfaced on Saturday with rumours that he had suffered a serious illness on Thursday night. His absence from Friday night's derby win over the Scarlets at the Liberty Stadium fuelled the speculation. But the region last night confirmed that although he had been taken ill, his condition was neither serious nor life-threatening, and he was already back home.
Club spokesman Peter Owen told Wales on Sunday, "He was taken ill on Thursday and taken to hospital that night. But he's fine. He's home now here in Wales with his wife and family. He's comfortable and is waiting on test results."
Owen was unable to put a time frame on when Johnson, who arrived at the club as director of coaching a year ago, would return to his coaching duties.
- Argentina international winger Horacio Agulla is set to leave French side Brive and join Premiership side Leicester next season, according to the Top 14 club. The 25-year-old, capped 22 times by the Pumas, was a member of the Argentina squad that claimed third place at Rugby World Cup 2007 and will join compatriot Lucas Amorosino at Welford Road.
- The Bulls have been dealt a double injury blow with Jaco Pretorius and Derick Kuun ruled out of action by injuries.
Pretorius will miss the remainder of the team's overseas tour after he fractured a eye socket against the Blues in Auckland on Saturday. Pretorius will be out for at least two weeks, which means he will not face the Chiefs and Reds in the next two rounds of the Super 14. Kuün, who injured ankle ligaments in the same game, will miss the Chiefs clash.