David Pocock’s Super Rugby return delayed by knee surgery

By Warwick Barr,

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    David Pocock’s much-anticipated return to Super Rugby will be delayed because of a knee surgery.

    Pocock went under the knife on Saturday to repair damage to his meniscus in what the Brumbies management described as a minor procedure.

    But it will be enough to rule the Wallabies No.8 out of the start of the Super Rugby season after a recent playing stint in Japan and a year-long sabbatical from the game.

    “Upon David Pocock’s return from playing in Japan he sought advice for a complaint with his knee,” a Brumbies statement said.

    “His timeline for return to play is up to three months.”

    If Pocock is out for 12 weeks, it would put his Brumbies comeback on hold until a round 10 home clash against the Jaguares on April 22.

    Pocock took a break from all rugby last January after playing with Wild Knights during the 2016-17 Japanese season.

    Before returning to Japanese club rugby later in the year, Pocock worked on conservation projects in Africa and studied at Harvard University.

    His decision to step away from the game was designed to freshen his body and mind before next year’s World Cup.

    The 29-year-old, who has earned 65 Wallabies caps, has twice undergone major knee surgery during a decorated career at international and Super Rugby level.

    He had knee constructions in 2013 and 2014.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (102)

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:28am
      Cynical Play said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:28am | ! Report

      Disappointing for the Brumbies. Plenty of depth though. Hard to know why he played in Japan when he could have had the surgery instead.

      Jono Lance looks gone too for the Rebels. Busted hand sidelining him for months and then he looks like playing in Europe in 18/19.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:32am
        Fionn said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:32am | ! Report

        He might be back for the first round match, however. It is up to three months.

        Shame, but better for him to tackle it now rather than let it blow up and impact the Brumbies and the Wallabies for a longer period.

        I presume he played in Japan because he wanted the $$$. Sorry, the yen.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:11am
          jameswm said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          He should be back and playing nicely to get some games under his belt before the international season.

          9-10 weeks till the Tahs Brumbies round 7 game in Canberra. He can come back the following week!

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:33am
          Cynical Play said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:33am | ! Report

          Rugby.com.au

          “The procedure means Pocock may not return to the Brumbies side until round nine of this Super Rugby season, but a more optimistic prognosis could see him back four rounds into the season.”

          So somewhere in the middle might be realistc.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:45am
            Fionn said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:45am | ! Report

            Yeah, we’ll see. As early as round 1 and up to 3 months. We’ll see.

        • January 31st 2018 @ 10:19pm
          PiratesRugby said | January 31st 2018 @ 10:19pm | ! Report

          He’s not the Wallabies No 8. He’s the wallabies 7 and best 7 in the world, currently being prevented from playing by Cheika.

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2018 @ 8:09am
        Train Without A Station said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:09am | ! Report

        The article I read said it’s been an ongoing injury that’s been getting managed.

        Surgery is generally the last choice.

        Apparently the Brumbies wanted him to get the surgery now.

        But it’s a case of he also could have got the surgery in 2016 but didn’t – because again, surgery is generally the last option.

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:48am
      Johno said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      He stepped away from 1 Australian season but signed for 3 Japanese seasons, doesn’t sound like much of a freshen up to me, sounds like a great pay day

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2018 @ 10:18am
        Train Without A Station said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        Really?

        He played 15 games of Top League in 2017 max (including the 2 games in January).

        Had he not taken the sabbatical he would have played up to 32 games, all of which would have been a much more intense level than the Top League.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:34pm
          Jacko said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

          Twas to many it looks like he was paid to have a year off by the ARU…Then he got paid more to play in Japan, leading to playing 50% of what he would have if he didnt take the year off…..It looks like greed…it may or may not be but that is what it looks like…Then it doesnt help that .he comes back with an injury which will make him miss a few games.
          The facts may or may not match the perception but often perception becomes fact

          • Roar Rookie

            January 22nd 2018 @ 5:37pm
            piru said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

            He didn’t come back with an injury

            He took it with him

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 6:05pm
              Jacko said | January 22nd 2018 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

              So surely should have had it sorted when he had the time to without affecting any team he plays for

              • Roar Rookie

                January 22nd 2018 @ 6:24pm
                piru said | January 22nd 2018 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

                It wasn’t affecting any team he plays for –

                The Brumbies insisted on surgery, he was either willing to play through or it only now has got to the point it needs surgery.

                Either way it’s hard to see what’s got you so upset

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 12:09pm
                Train Without A Station said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

                I take it if you were injured at work, you’d have an operation and recovery whilst you were on annual leave rather than workers comp?

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 5:17pm
                Jacko said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

                TWAS Thats a silly comment…He was on FULL PAY…AS YOU KNOW…Would I get a work related injury sorted while on FULL PAY? Yes of course…when else are you supposed to ?????

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 6:33pm
                Fionn said | January 23rd 2018 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

                Jacko, he wasn’t on full pay. He was being paid for the 2016 and the 2018 seasons, but had his salary split over three years. 2017 was his year off.

              • Roar Guru

                January 24th 2018 @ 1:00pm
                Train Without A Station said | January 24th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                Exactly.

                He was being paid partially for work already done, but partially for future work.

                He wasn’t paid to do nothing.

                It’s like time in lieu.

                He wasn’t required to be at work for that time so it’s no different to holidays, time in lieu or anything else, which I can guarantee you would not agree to undertake workers comp surgery if you were in the situation.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:43pm
            Train Without A Station said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

            It what it looks like to people completely unwilling to look…

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 6:53pm
            Gray-Hand said | January 22nd 2018 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

            “The facts may or may not match the perception, but often perception becomes fact.”

            Such a statement is only ever made as a last resort excuse by someone who has been proven wrong but can’t admit defeat.

            Might as well be saying: “I know that what I’m saying is false, but i’m hoping that if I repeat it enough, maybe people will agree with me.”

            • January 23rd 2018 @ 5:21pm
              Jacko said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

              Well in this case the FACTS MATCH THE PERCEPTION…

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 5:35pm
                Fionn said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

                Jacko, no they don’t. His contract was for about $2.1 million for three seasons.

                He had his payment for two seasons playing spread over 3 years (including the sabbatical from Aussie rugby) as it is better for cashflow and tax purposes for both him and RA.

    • Roar Guru

      January 22nd 2018 @ 7:48am
      Machooka said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      Will David Pocock ever be David Pocock again… when ever it is he might return?

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:57pm
        mzillikazi said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

        Yes, that worries me a lot too Chook. The lad is now 29, and these setbacks just seem to keep coming. So disappointing.

      • Roar Guru

        January 23rd 2018 @ 1:25am
        Harry Jones said | January 23rd 2018 @ 1:25am | ! Report

        @Machooka

        Scar tissue is stubborn, how it proliferates

        Aren’t NBA players at 50 all hobbled and crippled?

        • Roar Rookie

          January 23rd 2018 @ 6:49pm
          piru said | January 23rd 2018 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

          Just check out the ex lineman commentators on Superbowl Sunday

          Hands all messed up holding the microphone

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:04am
      Jigbon said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      So let me get this right. We pay him 800k to NOT play for us in 2017, yet he then goes and plays for another team, and gets paid some more ridiculous sum of money , then gets injured and it impacts on us for 2018 ! Sorry that’s just wrong ……and totally stupid. Thank god pulver , who made the decision , has gone. I personally feel his value is not worth anywhere near 800k. Especially to NOT play for or in Australia in one year. That Money could have been much better spent.
      And now we have a player who has had three kneee operations.! How is that good?
      Can someone remind me ……..what’s in it for us. ?
      Total madness I reckon.

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2018 @ 8:11am
        Train Without A Station said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        He got injured playing Australian rugby.

        He’s been playing through the injury for years. It has now gotten to the point where he can’t and the Brumbies want him to get the surgery.

        As for getting paid not to play. If you need to think that because spreading payments over 3 years is too complex a concept for you, then you just keep thinking that and get all worked up over it.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:46am
          Fionn said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:46am | ! Report

          The myth that never dies.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:21am
          jigbon said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

          Thanks for that TWAS, your insights are as always, so erudite.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:36pm
          Jacko said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

          Perception is often stronger than fact and the perception is he was paid not to play…then he got paid to play for someone else

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:18pm
          Rugbyfan in WA said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:18pm | ! Report

          What was the point of a sabbatical if he played in Japan? if he was going to play rugby during this time then he should be playing in Australia or at least be back training with for the Super Season as he is contracted with RA. Also if he was carrying an injury then this should have been a priority to be fixed during his break. Makes no sense to me and really looks like the whole situation has been poorly managed by everyone.

          • January 23rd 2018 @ 12:50pm
            Clifto said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

            Precisely.

            Sabbaticals should be for, as it was described, “freshen up mind and body”.

            Totally good with this for one of Australian rugby’s key players.

            But a season in Japan, rather than playing the EOY tour in Europe? That’s just wrong in my opinion.

            Take time off rugby by all means. But that’s not what’s happened in this case, and I think it’s disappointing.

            • January 24th 2018 @ 12:39pm
              Alex Forbes said | January 24th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

              The rugby in Japan is as tough on the body as Test rugby? I think not.

            • Roar Guru

              January 24th 2018 @ 1:01pm
              Train Without A Station said | January 24th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

              You don’t think that maximum 15 games in Japan over a 12 month period will leave you fresher than up to 18 Super Rugby games followed by 14 test matches?

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:54am
        Lesley Kelly said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

        I totally agree with Jigbon ,he was not worth 800k,what have we gotten for it? …… a player now onto his 3rd knee operation.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm
          piru said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

          * the best 7 in the world, now onto his 3rd knee op.

          It never ceases to amaze me how ready Australian rugby fans are to rip into their own.

          And you all wonder why players would rather make more money in Europe or Japan.

          • Roar Guru

            January 22nd 2018 @ 12:28pm
            Train Without A Station said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

            You forgot about Beaver from late 2010 mate?

            • Roar Rookie

              January 22nd 2018 @ 12:45pm
              piru said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

              Whataboutism is a poor form of argument TWAS, however if you want to play that game. Beaver had not been playing well prior to RWC and was at that time 3rd or 4th string 10.

              A more apt comparison would be the multiple times DC was down for periods of time, including a significant injury suffered in his first appearance for Toulon (I believe).

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 12:53pm
                Train Without A Station said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

                This was your comment:

                It never ceases to amaze me how ready Australian rugby fans are to rip into their own.

                A little closer to home Beaver was ripped into and blamed for the loss on Hong Kong (?) in 2010.

                The reality was he came on and didn’t put one clearing kick into touch, but people were happy to blame Beaver for the loss.

                Thankfully all was forgiven by the end of 2011.

                Ripping into one’s own is hardly a uniquely Australian trait is my point.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 2:39pm
                Fionn said | January 22nd 2018 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

                Do as I say, not as I do.

                Some New Zealand fans’ poor treatment of Beaver don’t change the fact that Piru’s comments on Pocock are completely correct.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 6:21pm
                Taylorman said | January 22nd 2018 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

                Geez, that was 2010, look at what we get here re Quade, Mumm, hannigan, Foley, Moore and the coaches Cheika, Gibson, Ian mac. This sites been ripping into many of its own for years. Beavers got nothing on what you guys do to your own. Geez.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 22nd 2018 @ 2:52pm
                piru said | January 22nd 2018 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

                Ripping into one’s own is hardly a uniquely Australian trait is my point.

                What you say to me if I came at you like that?

                You’d rightfully say “I never said it was uniquely Australian”

                However, as somewhat of an outsider, it seems Aussies will rip into their players and then complain that they don’t want to play in Australia. That to me seems reasonably unique to Australia – think Giteau, O’Connor, Cooper, Beale, Mitchell, Ashley-Cooper and of course Pocock, just off the top of my head.

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 3:07pm
                John R said | January 22nd 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                Tall Poppies syndrome is as Australian as Crowded House and Pavlova.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:39pm
                Jacko said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

                John So who did you steal the TALL POPPY syndrome from???

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:09pm
        Misha said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

        He was slow when Barrett burned him for the final try in th last RWC – he’ll be even older and slower now with all these operations

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:51pm
          Fionn said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

          No slower than the average international 7. I wouldn’t say slower than Cane, O’Brien, Warburton. A 7 doesn’t need to have lightning speed, they aren’t wingers.

          • January 23rd 2018 @ 5:23pm
            Jacko said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:23pm | ! Report

            How would you know? When did you last see him play? With surgery he could well be far slower than any of those you mention

            • January 23rd 2018 @ 5:34pm
              Fionn said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

              So I’m obviously talking about 2016, when he was last consistently playing for the Brumbies and the Wallabies, whereupon he was as fast or faster than all of those others who I have listed.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:12pm
          Cuw said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

          not a fair comparison – even wingers find it hard to catch Barrett 🙂

        • Roar Rookie

          January 23rd 2018 @ 12:51am
          Shane D said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:51am | ! Report

          He was amazing to be chasing Barrett from that position so late in the game when he had been hammered from pillar to post.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 23rd 2018 @ 12:16pm
          piru said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

          Barrett is arguably the quickest 10 getting around

          I doubt there is a 7 he wouldn’t make look slow

      • Roar Rookie

        January 23rd 2018 @ 12:55am
        Shane D said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:55am | ! Report

        What’s in it for you is having Pocock for the next 2 seasons. If the sabbatical wasn’t negotiated more than likely Pocock would have signed to play in Europe.
        The sabbatical means that he had the opportunity to earn additional income & return to his commitments in Australia.

        • Roar Guru

          January 24th 2018 @ 1:04pm
          Train Without A Station said | January 24th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

          Exactly. The Sabbatical increased his earnings enough to enable the ARU to compete with European offers.

          For the years he’s signed to Aus he could have signed to Europe and earned enough to not play in Japan and still take 2017 off.

          Instead this has ensured he’s been retained, with the only negative being an injury risk of playing up to 15 lower impact games than Super and Test Rugby.

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:15am
      bigbaz said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      Pity his famous social conscious doesn’t extend to Aussie rugby.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:13am
        jameswm said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        It’s conscience, but yeah – a social conscience is rarely relevant to sport.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm
          piru said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

          It’s well known that having a social conscience (apart from apparently being something to be mocked for) is a sure cure for knee injuries.

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:28am
      puff said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      Fionn, Pocock received a refreshment package from the RU before departing Australia. This paid sabbatical has become very much a joke. Apart from playing rugby in Japan for the Wild Knights and advancing his personal commitment to humanitarian issues in Africa. He now believes a knee reconstruction is required before returning to the Brumbies. What kind of verbiage did the RU have in the gent’s refreshment retainer and what sort of committed did Pocock agree to. The hard facts are, Pocock has numerous agendas and the Brumbies are just a number in the queue.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:35am
        Fionn said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:35am | ! Report

        Yeah, imagine wanting to get surgery to avoid serious injury. What a terrible guy.

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2018 @ 8:52am
        Train Without A Station said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

        He now believes a knee reconstruction is required before returning to the Brumbies.

        http://www.rugby.com.au/news/2018/01/21/pocock-brumbies-injury-update

        Actually. No. The Brumbies do.

        “I’ve been managing it for ages now. It’s something that’s been brewing for the last few years I guess.

        “It’s been manageable but the Brumbies were really keen for me to get it sorted out rather than manage it through the season, which is fair enough.”

        Hey, let’s not let facts get in the way of an ill informed rant though…

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:14am
        jameswm said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        “He now believes a knee reconstruction is required before returning to the Brumbies”.

        You do realise that’s not right, don’t you? It’s not a reconstruction for starters. Big difference between an arthroscope and a reco. And it’s the Brumbies who want it fixed.

        But hey – don’t let the facts get in the way of a whinge.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 1:41pm
          Internal Fixation said | January 22nd 2018 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

          This is very interesting as if it is a meniscal repair (bioabsorbable anchors to the shock absorbing cartilage) then it would be a 3 month rehabilitation.

          If it is just an arthroscopic meniscal trim or debridement then this would be a 4-6 week rehabilitation.

          I understand that meniscal repair after previous ACL reconstruction often doesn’t work.

          The problem with repeated debridement however is that he is at high risk of developing arthritic change. Hence I very much understand his desire to make hay while the sun shines!

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 3:23pm
            Dave_S said | January 22nd 2018 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

            Hey thanks for the education, IF!

            And a great handle for someone who knows their surgery, btw 😀

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 4:21pm
              Internal Fixation said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

              Thanks Dave! It’s a while since I have done knee surgery regularly but I remember the basics

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 4:48pm
                Cynical Play said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

                knee bone connected to the thigh bone…

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 10:21am
                Internal Fixation said | January 23rd 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

                The stringy things connected to my wrist watch

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:43pm
                Jacko said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

                The Pocock hand bone connected to the RA wallet bone.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:38pm
                Vic rugby said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

                😂🤣😂🤣😂

              • Roar Rookie

                January 23rd 2018 @ 5:37pm
                piru said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:37pm | ! Report

                Internal Fixation – I feel your Dr. Nick reference hasn’t received the recognition it deserved here.

                Well played!

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 5:51pm
                Internal Fixation said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                He is my inspiration

                “The coroner, I’m so sick of that guy”

              • Roar Rookie

                January 23rd 2018 @ 5:58pm
                piru said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

                “It’s such a lovely day, I think I’ll go out the window!”

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 7:37pm
                Internal Fixation said | January 23rd 2018 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

                ROFL

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 7:43pm
                Fionn said | January 23rd 2018 @ 7:43pm | ! Report

                Dr Nick’s greatest contribution to society was inventing a new way to juice oranges.

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