Ryan's World Cup dream is over
April 13, 2007

James Ryan's World Cup rugby dream has been shattered.

The Highlanders lock will have surgery on his injured left knee, ruling him out of the entire 2007 season.

All Black Ryan ruptured both his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament playing against the Chiefs in Queenstown last weekend.

After consultation with medical advisors, Ryan opted for surgery with the rehabilitation period expected to take seven to nine months -- taking him out of contention for the World Cup in September.

"I'm obviously extremely disappointed to be out for the season but I guess I need to be philosophical about it," Ryan said in a statement.

"My focus now has to be on getting through the operation and starting the rehabilitation programme."

Ryan's latest injury blow comes after he missed most of the 2006 season while recuperating from shoulder surgery.

Ryan's absence will cause headaches for All Blacks management, with fellow All Black lock Chris Jack ruled out for the rest of the Super 14 season after tearing a hamstring tendon on March 31.

"I really feel for James -- he worked extremely hard to come back from his shoulder injury last year and was in good form so far this season," Highlanders coach Greg Cooper said.

All Blacks forwards coach Steve Hansen also expressed condolences for the 24-year-old.

"We're very disappointed for James, but we can't change the fact that he is injured and the focus now has to be on getting his knee right so that he can play well again.

"The longevity of his career is more important than a quick fix."

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