Moody ruled out until March
December 7, 2011
Lewis Moody sustained the shoulder injury in November © Getty Images
Bath flanker Lewis Moody looks set to be out until March after undergoing surgery on a shoulder injury.
The former England captain was forced to leave the pitch during the West Country side's 16-7 loss to the Worcester Warriors on November 25 and has been blighted by injury in the large part of his career at Bath. He has played just 13 times for Sir Ian McGeechan's side since his high profile switch from Leicester Tigers at the end of the 2009-10 season.
"I'm just gutted for the player himself," Bath assistant coach Brad Davis told BBC Radio Bristol. "He came back enthusiastic in training but I'm sure he's going to give loads off the field now to keep himself occupied. It's disappointing but what can you do? He's always played the game that way, he's always going to pick up knocks."
Bath are currently in the midst of an injury crisis and are down to their fourth choice hooker with Lee Mears, Ross Batty and Pieter Dixon all sidelined. But they hope to be able to call upon new signings Stephen Donald and Francois Louw for their clash with Heineken Cup champions Leinster on Sunday.
And scrum-half Michael Claassens is eyeing the clash as a chance to reinvigorate their stuttering season. Claassens said: "This time our Pool is very open as there is two points between us and Leinster, a point between us and Glasgow Warriors and Montpellier are close as well.
"All four teams in our group still have a shout of going through. The main thing for us is to make sure we beat Leinster in the next game. If we can get a win against them at home everything will really open up and it will be a massive game against them away the following week.
"It is definitely a boost having them at home first - it does make a difference. I don't know if it's mental or what, but it's always easier playing at home with your own fans behind you. However, Leinster are very consistent. Every week they give themselves a chance of winning the game so we'll have to be at our best. They were champions last season and that speaks for itself. They're a class outfit and they've got so many Irish internationals in their squad.
"It's a massive opportunity for us, though. We haven't been as consistent as we'd like so far this season and when you get a chance to play against one of the best teams in Europe it's a chance to prove yourselves. We've got nothing to lose and it could be a springboard. If we win that game, the whole pool will look different."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown