Brumbies and Wallabies star flanker David Pocock is out of the rest of the Super Rugby season with a recurrence of a knee injury.
Pocock went down late in Saturday’s win over the Western Force in Perth and an arthroscopy on Wednesday confirmed he had re-ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.
On Wednesday night, he underwent a full reconstruction on his left knee – the same surgery he had last season after rupturing his ACL in round four of the Super Rugby competition that forced him to be sidelined for the rest of 2013.
After 69 games for the Western Force and 45 for the Wallabies, Pocock has played just five Super matches for the Brumbies in 18 months with the club.
“Having worked so hard to get himself back to peak physical condition over the last 12 months it’s impossible not to feel for David,” Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher said in a statement.
“What we must remember is that David is still young and will have more opportunities to play professional rugby in the future.
“Guys like Ben Mowen and Christian Leali’ifano are living proof that you can make a successful comeback from a recurring injury and I’d expect to see David bounce back in the same way.”
Pocock took to Twitter and said he was gutted by the blow.
Devastated but trying to keep perspective. So appreciative of all the support I’ve received. Thank you all
— David Pocock (@pocockdavid) March 5, 2014
Meanwhile, Wallaby legend George Smith’s management has all but ruled out another SOS return to the Brumbies as Pocock’s replacement.
Having seemingly retired from Australian rugby in 2010, Smith was sensational for the Brumbies in 2013 following Pocock’s season-ending knee injury.
Not only did the No.7 prove he was still one of the best players in Super Rugby by helping take the ACT franchise to the grand final – but he got a Wallabies call-up against the British and Irish Lions in the process.
The 111-Test ball thief king returns to Australia next week after wrapping up duties in Japan with Suntory Sungoliath.
He intends to take a well-earned break with his family until May – roughly the same amount of time it could take for Pocock to recover in a best-case scenario – before flying to France to join division two club Lyon on a two-year deal.
However, with Ita Vaea still recovering from a heart condition, the Brumbies have one free roster spot available – and Smith has previously stated he’d never say never to a future Brumbies SOS.
Yet despite the stars seemingly aligning, Abrahams says if contacted by the Brumbies, he’ll advise Smith to give his body a much-needed break following three to four seasons of back-to-back rugby.
“George needs a rest, he’s never had a proper break,” Abrahams said.
“(But) if he was phoned by Stephen Larkham or Laurie Fisher, George being George, he’d always pick up.”
It’s expected former Reds backrower Jarrad Butler will be handed the Brumbies No.7 jersey for Friday’s clash against the Hurricanes in Wellington.