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Australia
Christian Leali'ifano faces three-month recovery
ESPN Staff
December 13, 2013
Australia's Christian Leali'ifano makes a break, New Zealand v Australia, Bledisloe Cup, The Rugby Championship, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, August 24, 2013
Christian Leali'ifano delayed the surgery to make his Test debut for Australia © Getty Images
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Christian Leali'ifano will miss the opening weeks of the Super Rugby 2014 season and will be unavailable before March at the earliest after ankle surgery.

Surgeons this week removed some bone, scar tissue and a plate inserted when Leali'ifano dislocated his right ankle last year, and the he now faces a long recuperation including two weeks in a moon boot.

Leali'ifano underwent the surgery to correct the injury problems he has suffered since having the joint reconstructed in 2012, having delayed the operation to make his Test debut for Australia and play on the Wallabies' end-of-year tour of Europe.

"We're still not sure when he'll be ready," Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told Fairfax Media. "They removed a fair bit of loose bone and they took the plate out. The recovery is up to three months depending on when he can weight bear next. If he can't full weight bear for six weeks, you usually double that time until he's back playing. It's just a matter of progressing it … Christian's a good healer but there's no timeline on it."

Nic White also underwent surgery on Wednesday, to remove a plate from his jaw, and his wisdom teeth. He will be back in the gym on Friday and back at full training when the squad returns from its Christmas holiday on January 6.

The Brumbies play their first Super Rugby 2014 trial match against the Highlanders in Queenstown on January 31, and they kick off their season proper against Queensland Reds on February 22.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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