Axed Wallabies halfback Will Genia’s season of woe has worsened with ankle surgery to sideline him for the next eight weeks.
Genia has been playing with ligament damage since injuring himself playing for the Queensland Reds in Wellington on April 26 but carried it through their faultering Super Rugby campaign.
Scans last week showed he needed an operation to fix the worsening problem and the 55-Test half has been booked in for surgery on Tuesday.
It means Genia will miss the rest of the Reds’ season and significantly hurts his chances of a Wallabies recall when the Rugby Championship kicks off against the All Blacks on August 16.
With no rugby under his belt, it’s hard to see the Reds vice-captain unseating Nic White and Nick Phipps for the opening two Bledisloe Cup Tests.
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie, who last week shocked all and sundry by dumping Genia from his team to play France, admitted the injury had played a part in his form.
“There’s no doubt the nature of the injury he’s got wouldn’t have helped his football,” McKenzie said on Sunday.
“He’s showed a bit of toughness to carry that for some time.
“It’s getting worse gradually so we needed to get it fixed.
“We’ve seen before how committed Will is when undergoing rehab and I would expect him to work hard to be available for selection when we begin our Rugby Championship campaign.”
McKenzie has called Melbourne Rebels half Luke Burgess into his squad ahead of Saturday’s third Test in Sydney.
Queensland coach Richard Graham hailed Genia for coping with the injury, shown by his man-of-the-match display in his last appearance for a 38-31 upset of the Highlanders.
“It’s a credit to Will’s toughness and character that he was willing to continue playing through the injury for the remainder of the season, but in his best interests we have all come to an agreement that surgery is the best option,” Graham said.