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.
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