Kahui shoul­ders an­other lay­off

In­jury ends try­ing sea­son

South Waikato News - - PICK THE WINNERS -

Richard Kahui’s in­jury curse con­tin­ues. A shoul­der in­jury has ended the cen­tre’s rugby year pre­ma­turely and put a ma­jor cloud over his World Cup as­pi­ra­tions.

The Toko­roa All Black has made just 11 test ap­pear­ances since he made an ex­cit­ing in­ter­na­tonal de­but in 2008.

The 25-year-old missed the 2009 in­ter­na­tional sea­son while he un­der­went re­con­struc­tive surgery on his left shoul­der.

He had hoped to have left his shoul­der prob­lems be­hind him this year when he fi­nally shook off a rib car­ti­lage in­jury to play his way into the All Blacks mix through the June tests.

But, in the Tri-Na­tions opener against the Spring­boks in Auck­land, Kahui suf­fered a small frac­ture of his right shoul­der socket and then rein­jured the area play­ing for Waikato against North Har­bour ear­lier this month.

Kahui un­der­went an arthroscopy which con­firmed surgery was re­quired.

All Blacks Doc­tor Deb Robin­son said the pro­ce­dure con­firmed the frac­ture was heal­ing well but Kahui had suf­fered a par­tial tear to his ro­ta­tor cuff (the ten­dons that act to sta­bilise the shoul­der) as well as mi­nor car­ti­lage dam­age, so had fur­ther surgery to re­pair those in­juries.

‘‘It’s a real blow for Richard who had been re­cov­er­ing well from the ear­lier in­jury but it’s in his best in­ter­ests to get the shoul­der fixed now,’’ Dr Robin­son said.

Dr Robin­son con­firmed Kahui won’t play again this year and thus was out for the end-of-year tour but she said he should be avail­able for next year’s Su­per Rugby com­pe­ti­tion.

That leaves Kahui with a mas­sive task in front of him to break into the All Blacks squad for next year’s World Cup.

With a log­jam of mid­field con­tenders, the Waikato man, who cov­ers both mid­field spots and wing, will prob­a­bly need a stand­out Su­per Rugby cam­paign to leapfrog his ri­vals.

What he does have is the back­ing of the na­tional coaches who value his abil­i­ties, big-game com­po­sure and his abil­ity to cover sev­eral po­si­tions.

But they, like his many fans, will be get­ting frus­trated by the in­juries that con­tinue to keep this tal­ented per­former off the pad­dock. – Stuff.co.nz

OUT AGAIN: The rare sight of Richard Kahui in a Waikato jersey will not be seen again this sea­son.

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