Mitchell suffers World Cup blow
April 23, 2011
Drew Mitchell leaves the field after suffering a serious ankle injury © Getty Images
Wallabies and Waratahs winger Drew Mitchell is set to miss the rest of the Super Rugby season and the World Cup after suffering a serious ankle injury against the Reds on Saturday.
Mitchell, who has been in the form of his career with six tries so far this season, dislocated his right ankle as he fell badly after bumping into the Reds' Scott Higginbotham midway through the first half of the Waratahs' 19-15 defeat. He screamed out in pain and the medics were immediately on the scene, sedating him before placing his ankle back in place.
The 27-year-old, who has won 55 caps for the Wallabies, was considered a certainty for Robbie Deans' World Cup squad after a storming season for Australia in 2010. But the injury now looks set to scupper his hopes of appearing in the tournament, which starts in September.
"He'll be gone for the year," Waratahs coach Chris Hickey told AAP. "It's a pretty significant injury."
Waratahs skipper Phil Waugh admitted the severity of the injury shook the Waratahs."I think it rattled anyone who saw it," Waugh said. "It was disappointing - you don't want to see that happen to anyone in the world in any sport."
Meanwhile Waratahs fly-half Berrick Barnes will resume to full training this week after five weeks on the sidelines following successive concussions. The Sun-Herald reports that Barnes, who returned to light training last week, has been given the all clear by medics to return to action against the Rebels at the SFS on Saturday, but the player will have the final decision.
''Berrick has gradually been making improvement,'' coach Chris Hickey said. ''His welfare is our No.1 concern. He started training with us last week. Next week he'll start some contact training for the first time. If he is still OK after he ticks those boxes, then hopefully he might be a starter against the Rebels … His opinion of his ability is just as important as the medical opinion.''
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