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.”

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    The Crowd Says (30)

    • June 26th 2013 @ 12:08pm
      Josh M said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

      So sorry to hear this news. A brave player and let’s hope he makes a full recovery in time.

      • June 26th 2013 @ 6:35pm
        colvin said | June 26th 2013 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

        On the contrary, I’m glad to see this news.

        It was very clear when Pat landed on the ball the way he did, with it lodged between his neck and the ground, that he had been seriously injured. It was also clear that it was a repeat of his earlier injury.

        Thirdly, it was clear that on its own the jarring he received should not have been the cause of serious injury and would not have been had his previous neck problem been completely resolved.

        He should not have been playing. He now needs to take time off until he is completely healed.

        Same as Barnes. The hit he received should not have knocked him out except now he cannot take a hit anywhere near his bean. The same as he went down when Cooper tackled him. He’s clearly not right and needs time off until he is.

        Who remembers Cooper coming back from his serous knee injury last year and limping out onto the field to play. He was nowhere near ready and played like it. Consequently, 2012 did his career considerable harm. He came back way too soon.

        How can CL be able to play on Saturday? In NZ he would be required to take off at least two weeks. If he plays I won’t be able to look the first time Davies gets the ball and runs at Christian.

        How can AAC play on Saturday? He could barely move his arm last week and had it in a sling after the match. If he plays he won’t last out the match.

        Does no one care about these people? They need to be protected from themselves.

    • Roar Guru

      June 26th 2013 @ 12:10pm
      AdamS said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

      Pat, please. Give it up.
      On many levels.

      • June 26th 2013 @ 12:16pm
        Josh M said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

        Geez Adam, Glad you’re not a mate of mine.

        • Roar Guru

          June 26th 2013 @ 12:23pm
          AdamS said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

          Wasn’t nasty mate. He’s fractured his neck, and now done it again.
          That’s two lucky escapes he has had.
          Rugby isn’t a game for people with spinal injuries.

          • June 26th 2013 @ 12:25pm
            Josh M said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

            OK. Sorry Adam. Expecting some ungracious crap on here re Pat. Over read.

          • June 26th 2013 @ 12:33pm
            jutsie said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

            feel the same about barnes too adam. There is more to life than rugby and they need to think of what happens after their super/test careers end. Wish him luck and hope he gets the best advice from those around him

            • Roar Guru

              June 26th 2013 @ 1:14pm
              AdamS said | June 26th 2013 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

              It’s a brutal game and some people, whether through injury or genetics just don’t have the body to back up their skill. Barnes is the rugby version of Watson (and possibly Clarke) and we might not see the effect of his concussions for many many years.
              But Pat would be a constant living tragedy for himself, his family and the game if he tackled himself into a wheelchair or worse.
              Regardless of what his doctors say now, I know what everyone who is not his doctor would be saying if he comes back and does himself a serious permanent injury after two prior neck fractures.

          • Roar Guru

            June 26th 2013 @ 12:38pm
            Who Needs Melon said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

            I’m with you, Adam.

            Some people have dispositions towards hamstring injuries, some shoulder problems, some concussions.

            I think this will draw a lot of comments and discussion. The flip side of my opinion is that I’m not a medical professional and if they say it’s ok, who am I to contradict.

            It’s awful because he has worked so hard and would otherwise have a long and successful rugby career ahead of him (regardless of whether or not he plays many more matches for the Wallabies) but I’d be cringing watching every tackle he makes if he continues to play. He’s obviously a champion bloke with a big, big ticker. Time to look for other avenues where his strength of character will shine. A fitness coach / personal trainer is one.

          • June 26th 2013 @ 12:41pm
            Rebel said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

            Agree that he should seriously consider his career and long term health and I agree with Jutsie about Barnes. Sure these guys love the game and the financial returns are good, but is it worth the risk.
            I know you weren’t having a go Adam, however I would be seriously disappointed if some used this as a reason to celebrate. Some people on this site have form though.

            • June 26th 2013 @ 2:14pm
              nickoldschool said | June 26th 2013 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

              Sad really. Dunno if some type of neck brace a la Brent Tate would help?

            • June 26th 2013 @ 5:55pm
              cm said | June 26th 2013 @ 5:55pm | ! Report


    • June 26th 2013 @ 12:13pm
      Jayvan Collins said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

      A horrendous injury. Here’s to hoping the best to him, his recovery and that he makes the best decisions for himself with the information that is made available to him by hopefully the best in the business.

      • June 26th 2013 @ 12:51pm
        formeropenside said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

        +1 to that. I cant put it any better.

        Before AAC’s return to form in 2013 I thought McCabe might have been a long-term 13, but unfortunately neither White nor Deans selected him there.

    • June 26th 2013 @ 1:07pm
      Jonny Boy Jnr said | June 26th 2013 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

      I think both Barnes and McCabe should stop playing rugby. Rob Horne gets a few injuries so he should give it up too.
      Dingo Deans stubbed his toe on Sunday afternoon…He should DEFINATELY give it up !

      • June 26th 2013 @ 1:32pm
        Rebel said | June 26th 2013 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

        Speaking of form.

      • Roar Guru

        June 26th 2013 @ 1:51pm
        AdamS said | June 26th 2013 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

        The effects of a repeatedly fractured ego may not show until well in the future.

    • June 26th 2013 @ 1:10pm
      Worlds Biggest said | June 26th 2013 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

      At least a year off for both Barnes and McCabe would do them good.

    • June 26th 2013 @ 1:25pm
      hammertime said | June 26th 2013 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

      I myself have form as a macabe knocker but have never wished him ill. He is clearly a popular and likeable bloke. On this occasion It is enough to send him my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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