Exeter lose Dean Mumm for start of season
July 13, 2014
As club captain, Dean Mumm is an influential figure at Sandy Park © Getty Images
Exeter Chiefs will be without captain Dean Mumm for the start of the Aviva Premiership season after the lock underwent shoulder surgery.
Mumm suffered the injury last season but it has not recovered as the Chiefs had hoped and the former Australia international will now miss his side's season opener against newly-promoted London Welsh on Sunday, September 7.
"Dean finished the season with a little bit of a shoulder issue," Exeter head coach Rob Baxter explained. "He came back and played the last two games of the campaign against Harlequins and Newcastle, but he came off against Newcastle with a bit of a problem with the shoulder.
"It was felt a bit of rest and rehab would sort the problem out, but it became obvious, once we got back into the start of pre-season, that the issue hadn't really improved with a block of rest, so we investigated it a bit further.
"They had an exploratory look in there, and found one or two bits and pieces that needed tidying up and sewing back together, so he has had a shoulder operation to repair some ligament damage.
"The fact we have managed to get on with things now, we are hopeful he won't miss too much of the season.
"He is probably unlikely to feature in the first game of the season, but we are hopeful he will be back fully fit relatively quickly and it will not be a half-a-season job. Hopefully he will able to play for us sometime in that first block of six Premiership games."
Baxter has been forced to strengthen his second-row options over the summer after the retirements of Tommy Hayes and James Hanks last season and the departure of Romana Graham to La Rochelle. He has added Ryan Caldwell from Bath and Mitch Lees from London Welsh, but said there was no rush to bring in extra cover for Mumm.
"Looking at the squad as it stands, Ryan is training really well, Mitch looks really good and I have been really impressed with those two guys coming in," Baxter said. "Will Carrick-Smith is also starting to look like a big, strong man who knows what his body is doing.
"He has had a little bit of a tough time because he has just been growing non-stop, but he is training really, really well. We have got those guys almost as new signings to replace guys who didn't really play very much last season in Tommy Hayes and James Hanks with their injury issues, and we feel pretty comfortable."
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