Another All Black ruled out
February 10, 2011
Tom Donnelly has been ruled out for six weeks © Getty Images
All Black lock Tom Donnelly will miss the start of the Highlanders' Super Rugby season after suffering a partial dislocation of his shoulder.
The 29-year-old second-row left the field after just 10 minutes when the Highlanders drew their pre-season match against the Chiefs in Taupo last weekend, with scans on Tuesday confirming a minor dislocation.
Donnelly will not require surgery but has been slated for a six week recovery period, joining All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw on the sidelines. He is expected to return for the Highlanders in their match against the Brumbies on April 1.
There was further bad news for the franchise with confirmation that new signing Kurt Baker has been ruled out for three months with a stress fracture in his back.
Baker will be replaced in the Highlanders' squad of 32 by Kade Poki, who is in the wider training squad. Baker's injury requires rest and rehabilitation, with a medical assessment to be completed in May to determine his playing fitness.
If he clears the medical assessment, he can only be bought back into the squad as a replacement for another injured player. General manager Roger Clark lamented the blow for Baker, who had an outstanding season in 2010.
"Kurt signing was a long-term strategy for the Highlanders as he has signed for two years, and he will rehab with his teammates until he gets back to full fitness," he said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring
"If I miss the first kick of the match, it shouldn't have any impact on the second. They are different entities." Tom Hamilton talks to Northampton Saints' Stephen Myler
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength