Hernandez in World Cup fitness race
March 17, 2011
Juan Martin Hernandez was a major part of Argentina's World Cup campaign in 2007 © Getty Images
Juan Martin Hernandez faces a race to be fit for Argentina's Rugby World Cup campaign after undergoing surgery on a knee ligament injury.
The 28-year-old Racing Metro fly-half was injured on club duty at the beginning of March, having already missed a chunk of the season due to a thigh problem, and faces five months on the sidelines.
Argentina begin their World Cup against England on September 10, with chief surgeon Mario Larrain refusing to rule Hernandez out at this stage.
"Everything went well," he told AFP It was a difficult operation and we are now hoping that the body does its work in terms of healing. It will take at least five months for him to be able to resume playing rugby.
"It is still possible that he can play at the World Cup but we have to wait and see how his rehabilitation evolves."
Pumas team doctor Guillermo Botto had earlier predicted a six-month absence for Hernandez, one of the stars of their march to third place in 2007.
"Usually this kind of surgery takes six months to recover from. And we're exactly six months away from the World Cup," he said. "So we have to be optimistic and work towards that. He will obviously not have the ideal training, and will miss the rhythm of playing matches before the World Cup, but he may be fit to play in New Zealand."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September