Christian Leali’ifano (Inside, Brumbies) was being hailed as the Australian Jonny with goal-kicking prowess, but after suffering a compression injury to his ankle in Rosario against Los Pumas on October 6, Leali’ifano may have been forced out of his spot by the attacking fluency provided by Brumbies teammate Matt Toomua.
Leali’ifano must decide whether to undergo surgery soon if he is to recover in time for the Super Rugby season. While he may play through the injury, and potentially miss more games during the Super season, to delay the surgery will result in missing more games for the Brumbies anyway.
If Leali’ifano has surgery immediately, he could be expected back by February 14 at the earliest ahead of the first match against the Queensland Reds on February 22.
A lose-lose situation for Leali’ifano.
Kyle Godwin (Inside, Force) was a revelation for the Sea of Blue in 2013, as the young gun won the inaugural Nathan Sharpe Medal for Force Player of the Year.
Godwin carried a shoulder injury through the season, but elected to have it operated on following his sides loss to the Waratahs (just four days after the loss to the British & Irish Lions) on June 9.
Close friend Bernard Foley of the Waratahs revealed that Godwin would be fully recovered around Christmas Day 2013. Godwin has been earmarked as a star of the future in Green and Gold. Not a bad present under the tree for Michael Foley as he moves to improve on last year’s result, placing 13th in the Super Rugby Competition.
Anthony Fainga’a (Outside, Reds) bravely played through pain in his shoulder all season, and was operated on August 2 2013. The 23-Test Red is expected to be ready to return for Coach Richard Graham by February 14 2014.
Pat McCabe (Inside, Brumbies) was a memorable player for the Wallabies in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, where his abrasive running lines and courageous defence contributed strongly to the Wallaby campaign. His feats on the field have lead to a Superman-esque reputation off it – unfortunately, the Canberra Man of Steel’s body didn’t quite catch the memo. McCabe has struggled with injury since the 2011 World Cup, and suffered his second broken neck in seven months against the British & Irish Lions on June 22 in Brisbane.
Understandably, McCabe will take as much time as needed to fully recover from this serious injury. No official rehabilitation timeline has been set.