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Blues fullback Zarn Sullivan diagnosed with another significant knee injury

By Ned Lester
Zarn Sullivan of the Blues is helped form the field. Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

In what was shaping up to be a breakout year for Zarn Sullivan, the Blues fullback has been diagnosed with a meniscus tear and will undergo surgery on Thursday.

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Surgery will reveal the extent of the injury but an initial estimate puts the Maori All Black on the sidelines for at least one month.

The injury came just 23 minutes into the 23-year-old’s return from a six-week absence due to a posterior cruciate ligament injury.

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The play in which this latest injury was sustained saw Sullivan claim a long kick and look to attack the Hurricanes line, only to pull up short and hit the ground before any defenders had reached him.

“It was a tough night when I did it and knowing I would be sitting down for a wee while again,” said Sullivan.

“Having just come back from injury, I was firing and ready to go but I know this is all part of sport and I’ll get this surgery done, do my rehab then be back on the park as soon as I can.

“I also want to thank everyone for their kind messages and well wishes, it means a lot and I hope everyone can get in behind the Blues boys for this exciting part of the season.”

There was a touching moment as the Blues star lay on the ground in pain, surrounded by medical staff when his brother, Bailyn, starting at centre for the opposing Wellington team, came over to check in on his distressed sibling.

While Sullivan had been sidelined since round five, fellow young Blues star Cole Forbes has assumed a starting role in the No. 15 jersey.

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On the same day the Blues announced Sullivan’s injury, the team also announced Forbes’ new contract which will see the former Glasgow Warrior remain in Auckland until 2026.

Forbes took the field following Sullivan’s departure from Saturday’s heavyweight clash between the two top-of-the-table teams and helped the Auckland outfit to a crucial win over the in-form Hurricanes.

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Following the contest, Blues coach Vern Cotter spoke on his star fullback’s injury woes.

“That was his other knee. He did the other side. We reinforced his good one too well and he popped the other,” Cotter said.

“That’s really bad luck. I saw him on the ground again.”

Sullivan’s early exit in the game saw the young gun take a seat next to the likes of fellow injured Blues stars Finlay Christie, Stephen Perofeta and Rieko Ioane.

“It’s part of the game. We’ve got a couple of other knocks in there as well,” added Cotter.

“It was a physical match and the medical team will be busy tonight, tomorrow and come Monday morning to get everybody patched up and I think that’s going to be the theme going through to the end of the season.

“There are no easy games from now on and it’s going to take its toll so we’re going to have to look after ourselves.”

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