Kurtley Beale ruled out for a month
March 4, 2013
Kurtley Beale played well in his try-scoring performance against New South Wales © Getty Images
Kurtley Beale has been ruled out of action for three or four weeks after scans showed he fractured a finger in his left hand in the defeat by New South Wales Waratahs.
The injury to the third metacarpal of Beale's left hand deals a huge blow to Melbourne Rebels ahead of the round-four fixture against Queensland Reds, in which match the fly-half was to have gone head-to-head with Wallabies rival Quade Cooper.
Beale is "gutted", but says his focus now shifts to recovery. He added: "Obviously I've got some time off now, try and focus on the shoulder and get that back to full strength. Hopefully when I do come back I'll hit the ground fit and ready."
Beale, who will undergo surgery in the next 24 hours, will also miss the Rebels' two-match tour of South Africa before they enjoy the bye in round five.
Beale performed well against the Waratahs in round three, combining with Wallabies team-mate James O'Connor to spark the backline during the loss, and he was looking for another strong performance to secure front-running for the Wallabies No. 10 jumper ahead the series against the British & Irish Lions.
Beale, who had already announced that he would undergo shoulder surgery at the end of the season, joins Rebels team-mates Cooper Vuna, captain Gareth Delve, Chris Thomson and Jason Woodward on the sidelines. Rebels coach Damian Hill may now select O'Connor at five-eighth as his side seeks to claim a first victory against the Reds.
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action