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Highlanders attack coach provides an update on injured 'weapon'

By Finn Morton
Folau Fakatava scored a crucial try for the Highlanders in their win over the Reds. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Highlanders attack coach Richard Whiffin has provided an injury update on star halfback Folau Fakatava, who injured his right knee before the All Blacks’ end-of-season tour.

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Fakatava, who made his international debut against Ireland last year, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) late last year.

The devastating injury had seemingly left Fakatava in a race to be fit for this year’s World Cup, which is set to get underway in September.

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But after suffering another knee injury during the 2021 Super Rugby season, the 23-year-old chose a non-operative approach for his rehabilitation this time around.

And it appears to be working for him.

Attack coach Whiffin said Fakatava is “tracking well” after returning to the training field.

“He’s tracking well,” Whiffin told SENZ Breakfast.

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“He’s back on the training field (and) is in our 15 on 15 so he’s worked really hard on his rehab.

“He was obviously with the ABs (All Blacks) the last couple of days so he’s tracking well for being available for the season.

“He is a weapon that we want to be able to use.”

Fakatava opened up about his rehabilitation late last year, and discussed why he chose not to undergo surgery.

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“I had surgery on my ACL in 2021 and I wanted to avoid going down that route again if I could,” Fakatava said.

“I am excited about getting into my rehab and giving myself the chance of giving 2023 a real go. Obviously it’s a pretty big year.”

The Highlanders begin their Super Rugby Pacific campaign in a months’ time against the Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

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