Mitchell sets sights on World Cup
April 25, 2011
Drew Mitchell lies injured during the Waratahs' Super Rugby defeat to the Reds at the weekend © Getty Images
Injured Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell is confident he will be fit in time for this year's Rugby World Cup.
The 27-year-old's World Cup hopes looked to have been dashed when he dislocated his right ankle and broke a bone in his leg during the Waratahs' Super Rugby defeat to the Reds on Saturday. But following surgery he has been told he could be back in action in August - a month before Australia's tournament opener against Italy on September 11.
''The indication I got is 12-14 weeks, it is much better news than it could have been,'' Mitchell told the Sydney Morning Herald. ''If I had been looking at the World Cup as not being an option at all, sometimes the motivation … might not have been as high as it could be.
''I'll make sure that whatever day-to-day rehab stuff is required, I will do. It will be tedious and boring but, if that tedious and boring work is going to put me in a position to hopefully be looked at for World Cup selection, it will be worth it. 'I was immediately trying to work out how many weeks it would be before I could possibly return. It has put me in a better place than what it could have.
"Also, ever since the last World Cup when we were eliminated in the quarter-finals, from that moment I have done everything I can to get back for the next World Cup.''
Mitchell, who has been in the form of his career with six tries so far this season, suffered the injury after bumping into the Reds' Scott Higginbotham and falling awkwardly midway through the first half of the Waratahs' 19-15 defeat. He screamed out in pain and the medics were immediately on the scene, sedating him before placing his ankle back in place. Higginbotham has since contacted Mitchell to clear the air over their collision.
''He said a few things, he got a couple of interesting messages from people in the public - by no means do I hold anything against him,'' Mitchell said. ''I don't think he was doing it with any intention to injure me, he was trying to run me off the ball which happens in every game. I am sure if you look at the tape of the first 20 minutes you would probably see me trying to run someone off the ball as well.''
Recalling the injury, the 55-times capped international added, ''It was by far the worst injury that I've had to endure, I wouldn't wish that on anyone,'' he said. ''Just looking down at it was probably the worst thing. I don't have much of a stomach for stuff like that. When they show bad injuries on television I'm the first to look away so it is really disconcerting when it happens to you.
''Missing the World Cup, those sorts of things certainly do come into your mind when you're looking down and your kneecap is facing one way and your toes are facing in the opposite direction.''
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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