Hurricanes star to miss season opener
February 9, 2014
Brad Shields is likely to miss the Super Rugby season opener as well as the Hurricanes tour of South Africa © Getty Images
Hurricanes loose forward Brad Shields has suffered a medial collateral ligament tear in his left knee and is likely to miss the opening week of the Super Rugby season. Shields went down injured in the opening stages of a 24-22 Super Rugby preseason loss to the Rebels in Geelong on Saturday, while wing Matt Proctor was also assisted off with an ankle injury.
Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett said both players would have further scans this week. "At this stage the reports are Brad has a grade two MCL. I'm not quite sure how long that means he'll be out," he told stuff.co.nz. "Initial inspections suggested the knee wasn't too loose but he will have to have a scan to confirm that.
"Matt Proctor twisted his ankle and once again we'll have a better idea over the next week how he pulls up. Brad's probably the more serious one at this stage."
A grade two MCL tear usually means at least two to four weeks on the sidelines, which will keep Shields out of next week's final preseason trial against the Crusaders in Levin and puts him in doubt for the Highlanders' tour of South Africa where they will play the Sharks and Stormers.
"I guess it's just how hard he plays the game," Hammett said. "He's been going well, he's as fit and strong as he's been, so hopefully this doesn't put him out too long."
Injuries aside, Hammett was putting a positive spin on a match in which the Hurricanes outscored the Rebels three tries to two.
"I thought we well and truly outplayed them. They took shots at goal where we didn't really take shots," he said. "The score is a bit irrelevant but the big thing for us was we wanted an improvement on last week. We wanted attitude and intensity."
The Rebels had been training since October and had no international players to ease into action, Hammett said.
"The level of intensity compared to the week before against the Blues seemed like double. It was a good effort considering 11 of our squad were having their first hit out of the year."
Fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder got his second try in as many matches for the Hurricanes, with openside Ardie Savea and Proctor scoring the visitors' other tries.
Most of the Hurricanes' returning All Blacks managed half a match and would probably play more minutes against the Crusaders in Levin on Friday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Brendan Rodgers believes Daniel Sturridge is close to full fitness and on the brink of hitting top form for Liverpool again
Jordan Henderson says Liverpool can still overhaul second-placed Manchester City and believes 10 more wins will be enough to secure Champions League football next season
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is determined to prove his doubters wrong all over again as he battles for his starting place at Stamford Bridge
Philippe Saint-André defended his position as French coach and insisted he will not quit despite them falling to their second loss in three games
Billy Vunipola is adamant England can still win the Six Nations and says they should draw inspiration from Wales' recent revival as they seek to rebuild their own title aspirations
Sam Bruce reflects on a rugby tale of two cities, where two key referee decisions at the death impacted dramatically on the results
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
John Terry was visibly emotional during the national anthem in Sunday's League Cup final, but don't get your hopes up - he's not coming back to the England team
The winter is always a time of speculation, but this year the F1 circus will pack its bags for Melbourne with more uncertainty than usual
How many golfers have shot an albatross at the British Open?
Sunderland have suspended midfielder Adam Johnson pending the outcome of a police investigation, the club announced on Monday
Jose Mourinho says the Premier League title race is still wide open and insists even Manchester United are contenders
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville claimed Manchester City should be "embarrassed" by how easy they made it for Liverpool on Sunday
Arsene Wenger's decision to drop Per Mertesacker could be a "defining moment" for Arsenal, according to the club's former defender Martin Keown
Rafael Benitez has raised concerns about the long-term fitness of Chelsea captain John Terry after revealing the defender is trapped in "a vicious circle" regarding his persistent knee injury
The idea of Chelsea squeezing in a quick 20-minute Wembley celebration before getting back to work is both admirable and typically soulless, writes Alan Tyers
Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher marked his return to football punditry by coining a new name for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
When was the last time the F1 world champion driver's team didn't win the constructors' championship?