Bath Rugby fly-half Butch James is expected to be out of the game for nine months after a scan on his injured knee yesterday confirmed the South African’s worst fears.
The Bath Chronicle reports that James limped off at half-time during Bath’s 15-14 win Guinness Premiership victory over Newcastle Falcons on Sunday, sparking fears that the World Cup-winning Springbok had yet again been hit by the knee trouble that has plagued his career.
A damaged anterior cruciate ligament will require surgery – although James has vowed to return to rugby.
Bath today released a statement, which read: “Butch will be raring to get back onto the pitch for his team when he is fighting fit and will be eager to put his shirt back on when that time comes.”
And head coach Steve Meehan paid tribute to the No 10, who returned from the Tri-Nations last summer to play a major role in Bath’s challenge for honours this term.
“Butch started 20 Guinness Premiership matches for us this year and seven Heineken Cup matches. He has played more minutes than anyone else for Bath and has done a bloody good job,” said Meehan.
James played for the Natal Sharks in his native South Africa before signing for Bath in 2007 but his career with the Durban-based Super 14 side and the Springboks was hampered by injury.
In 2002 his appearances were restricted following knee surgery but in 2004 he played in every game for the Sharks and looked certain to be recalled to the national squad until an injury to the cruciate ligament of his left knee, 12 minutes into the last game against the Stormers, ended his season and kept him out of rugby for six months.Tweet