Mitchell faces lengthy lay-off

August 30, 2012
Rugby - International Rugby - Bet Now at Bet365

Australia could be without utility back Drew Mitchell for up to a year, after scans confirmed he has suffered a serious leg injury.

The 28-year-old was hurt in the 22-0 loss to New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday, while making his first start in 11 months. Australia's medical staff confirmed with an ultrasound on Tuesday that he has suffered a ruptured tendon in his leg.

It is the same injury that kept him out for much of the Waratahs' Super Rugby season.

Medical staff have not confirmed how long his recovery period would be, but the player himself fears the worst.

"The healing that needs to be done is pretty significant," Mitchell said. "I'm not too sure if I'll be lacing them up in the next 12 months or so."

Mitchell refuted suggestions that, having only played eight matches for the Waratahs before he returned to Test rugby, he might have returned too soon.

"When you damage a tendon like that or a muscle, the integrity of it is never back to where it was prior to the initial injury, that's probably been the case now," he said.

"People may argue or question whether I came back too early, but all the strength was there. All the tests and scans, everything indicated it was fine and I was back to feeling fine out there."

The Wallabies have had better news over the fitness of fly-half Quade Cooper.

He will be available for Australia's Rugby Championship match against South Africa on 8th September, despite having a small fracture in his tibia.

The Wallabies are 1.54 to beat South Africa, with the Springboks available at 2.50.

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