Gutted Australia forward Hugh McMeniman is coming to terms with having his third straight Super 14 campaign ruined by serious injury.
Foxsports reports that McMeniman and Queensland suffered a massive blow when the rugged lock-turned-flanker was diagnosed with a broken leg.
The 24-year-old was carried off Wellington’s Westpac Stadium early in the Reds’ 23-18 loss to the Hurricanes on Saturday night with initial fears of a high ankle strain.
But an X-ray in Brisbane has showed a fractured tibia which will sideline the luckless McMeniman for up to six months, ruling him out of the Tri-Nations as well as the Super 14.
A best-case scenario could see the destructive Red return to action in six weeks in time for the final half of the Super 14 but that appears unlikely.
McMeniman will see a specialist in the coming week for further advice.
The cruel blow comes after his 2006 season was ruined by serious shoulder and neck injuries and 2007 wrecked by ankle syndesmosis and a quad strain.
The Wallabies World Cup tourist, who has 12 Test caps to his name, was too upset to speak.
“It’s terribly bad luck for Hugh, who had been playing so well for us,” Mooney said before leaving Wellington.
“Hopefully the news from the specialist will be good and that we can get him back for the second half of the season.”
The Reds must also cope without similarly influential halfback Sam Cordingley for at least the next fortnight.
Cordingley, who flew back early to Brisbane with McMeniman, suffered a groin strain in Saturday night’s loss.
“It’s also bad luck for Sam, who missed the whole of last season with a complicated foot injury and who, like Hugh, had played extremely well for us in our opening games,” Mooney said.
Former New South Wales back-rower Leroy Houston is now set to make his run-on debut against the Brumbies in Canberra next Saturday as McMeniman’s replacement.
Houston, a member of the Wallabies 2005 European tour squad, could play at No.8 with skipper John Roe to line up at blind-side flanker in his 100th match for Queensland.
Back-up half-back Will Genia is likely to take Cordingley’s place.Tweet