Fab rushed to aid of side..but at what cost?

The Chronicle - - Rugby Union -

FAB­U­LOUS Flournoy went against the best ad­vice of New­cas­tle’s med­i­cal team in a last-gasp bid to bol­ster an in­jury-rav­aged Ea­gles ros­ter.

And the veteran New Yorker could pay a heavy price for his un­ex­pected re­turn as he faces a race against time to be fit for Fri­day’s home­court clash against Manch­ester Gi­ants.

Flournoy and Dar­ius De­foe were the sur­prise names on New­cas­tle’s bench last Fri­day fol­low­ing news that lead­ing scorer Jay­sean Paige had been ruled out.

But the Ea­gles play­caller ad­mit­ted: “I wasn’t ready. In an ideal world I needed an­other week but when Jay­sean went down we had no time to change our plans.

“I’d been help­ing the guys to pre­pare for the Worces­ter game all week so I knew the game­plan in­side out.

“It was too late to rip things up and start again and we didn’t re­ally have an­other op­tion.

“On re­flec­tion it did Dar­ius the world of good easing back into the BBL with eight min­utes.

“But did it help me? Yes and no. Let’s just say I’m not very pop­u­lar with cer­tain mem­bers of staff right now.”

Paige was the fourth Ea­gles player to suf­fer an an­kle knock this sea­son af­ter Saah Nim­ley, Terry Mar­tin and Flournoy all went down with the sim­i­lar in­juries.

And New­cas­tle’s med­i­cal staff are con­sid­er­ing whether a flurry of lower leg prob­lems are more than sim­ple co­in­ci­dence.

“The ques­tion has been asked in terms of what we’re do­ing in prac­tice and the irony of the sit­u­a­tion is that there are pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures in place,” added Flournoy.

“We are con­scious of the fact that a few of the guys have gone down with an­kle in­juries – in­clud­ing me – and we have looked at things very care­fully.

“We’re still wait­ing for the re­sults of Jay­sean’s scans and we’re just hop­ing it’s not a longterm thing.

“Right now we’re deal­ing with things on a day-to-day ba­sis and I hon­estly don’t know who will be avail­able for the Gi­ants clash.”

Drew Lasker was due to ar­rive back on Ty­ne­side late last night fol­low­ing his Com­mon­wealth Games ad­ven­ture with Eng­land.

And De­foe has re­sponded well to his brief run-out against the Wolves fol­low­ing a month-long ab­sence from the BBL.

Both play­ers – along with Flournoy - face late fit­ness tests.

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