Pat McCabe to miss rest of 2013 with neck injury

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    Australian rugby player Pat McCabe as been forced to retire after sustaining a neck injury in Bledisloe 2. AP Photo/Rob Griffith

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    Wallabies centre Pat McCabe has been ruled out of rugby for the rest of the year after re-injuring his neck in Saturday night’s 23-21 loss to the Lions.

    McCabe, who consulted with specialists in Sydney yesterday, had initially sustained a fracture in his neck during last year’s Spring Tour.

    The Brumbies centre was making his first Test start since injury last year, and will now be confined to a neck brace for the next six weeks to stabilise the injury before further examination is made.

    McCabe was confident that he would make a full return in 2014.

    “It was encouraging to hear the specialists being positive both about the recovery process but also the possibility that I could be able to return to the playing field,” he said.

    “It is human nature to think the worst but I’m in good hands medically. We’ll see how the rehabilitation goes and take it from there. I’d obviously like to get back into it, but I’ll be taking no chances with my health either.

    “Hopefully things will go to plan, I’m pretty confident they will. I think I’ve got plenty of games left in me.

    “For now, I’ll be concentrating on getting the recovery right while supporting both the Wallabies and Brumbies as much as I can.”

    Wallabies’ medical staff were adamant that this injury would not spell the end of the 25-year-old’s career.

    “It’s unfortunate that having completed the healing process from last year’s injury, that it has happened again,” said Wallabies doctor Warren McDonald.

    “But there are a wide course of options open to Pat, which will be considered once the rehabilitation has been completed.

    “The fracture that has partially opened up is expected to repair itself and strengthen.

    “This does not mean that Pat will not be able to return to the rugby field and be able to feel comfortable taking contact.

    “The specialist advice is that a return is viable pending the full recovery and strengthening of the neck.

    “Only time can do that, but we will be monitoring it closely throughout the healing process.

    “There is certainly no way that Pat will be returning to the game without a thorough assessment process to ensure he can have full confidence in the bone that has fractured.”