Four doctors were required to put Queensland Reds prop Ben Daley’s shoulder back in place as the Super Rugby franchise’s injury crisis took an ugly turn.
Daley suffered the season-ending injury when a scrum collapsed during a training session on Thursday morning.
“To see him there this morning, with the shoulder sitting out at training – it would have been out for at least 30 to 45 minutes … is really tough,” coach Richard Graham said.
“There’s a weakness there from an injury he suffered earlier in the season, when he had that labral tear.
“We thought we could manage him through the season, which we’ve done a pretty good job of so far.”
It is a bitter blow for Daley, who has repeatedly battled injury over the last two seasons and finally appeared to have made some headway.
Meanwhile, fullback Karmichael Hunt (hip adductor) will also miss Sunday’s clash against the Hurricanes at Suncorp Stadium.
Hunt had only been back from his suspension for drugs charges for three weeks and made an impressive try-saving tackle in last weekend’s win over the Cheetahs in South Africa.
“Just the workload and the amount of pressure he’s put on himself in the last few weeks and the travel factor and so forth … it’s certainly disappointing to lose him,” Graham said.
“It’s only minor, probably keep him out for a week – the bye comes at a good time next week for him.”
Lachie Turner moves to fullback to cover for Hunt in a backline reshuffle that sees Chris Feauai-Sautia on the wing and Anthony Fainga’a brought back into the starting side at inside centre.
The Reds have drafted in Sef Faagase to sit on the bench as Daley’s replacement, while Adam Korczyk – who made his Super Rugby debut against the Bulls two weeks ago and scored a try in the Cheetahs win – will make his first start in place of lock Curtis Browning (knee).
Graham said he had learned plenty from the Hurricanes’ first loss of the season to the NSW Waratahs on Saturday in Wellington.
“The one thing the Waratahs didn’t do is leave anything in the tank,” he said.
“Teams who have played against the Hurricanes have been a little bit spooked before they play them.
“I felt the Waratahs just asked a lot of questions of them.
“All things pointing to this weekend, it will be a cracker.”
Reds: Lachie Turner, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi, Anthony Fainga’a, James O’Connor, Nick Frisby, Will Genia, Adam Thomson, Liam Gill, Adam Korczyk, James Horwill, Rob Simmons, Greg Holmes, James Hanson, James Slipper (capt). Reserves: Andrew Ready, Sef Faagase, Sam Talakai, Marco Kotze, Lolo Fakaosilea, Scott Gale, Campbell Magnay, Chris Kuridrani.