England forward Sam Simmonds is set for at least six months out after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.
Simmonds suffered the setback in Exeter Chiefs’ 28-11 Premiership win over Worcester Warriors last weekend, with the extent of his injury revealed on Wednesday by director of rugby Rob Baxter.
The news comes a little under a year before the Rugby World Cup in Japan and rules Simmonds, who has seven international caps, out of the 2019 Six Nations.
“Sam Simmonds has ruptured his ACL. He’s going to go for a reconstruction, so that’s going to be six months onwards,” said Baxter.
“The only thing I can say to Sam with any certainty is, he’s a young player and the reality now – with all the talk of player welfare and the number of games you can play – the one thing is he’s not going to be playing any games for the next six months.
40 Sam Simmonds picked up a knock at the end of the first half so Sean Lonsdale will take his place.#EXEvWOR
— Exeter Chiefs (@ExeterChiefs) 29 September 2018
“Who knows what’s going to happen to the back-row resources between now and the World Cup? The other guys are going to be playing – they are the guys who are more likely to be picking up injuries than Sam.
“Also, he’s a young guy – a six-month break now at this time in his career, he’s got a really good break now. He’s got an opportunity of getting really mentally and physically fresh for what might be a fantastic two or three years for him after this injury.
“Yes, he’s going to miss out on some big games now, but you’d hope that those big games can get added to the end of his career because he’s not taking the battering now.”
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