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Sale deliver a devastating injury update on England back row Tom Curry

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images)

Sale have delivered a deflating update on Tom Curry, confirming that the England back row will require surgery to mend a hip problem and his lengthy rehabilitation will likely sideline him for the rest of the season – including the entire 2024 Guinness Six Nations with his country.

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Alex Sanderson delivered the update on Tuesday afternoon a week after he originally revealed that the 25-year-old was in London seeking out a specialist opinion after he pulled up lame on the training ground in Manchester earlier this month following his return from the Rugby World Cup in France.

The Sale director of rugby last week explained that Curry was initially alright after he came back in from France 2023 but that as soon as he trained with any intensity for his club, he stiffened up and it took a while to free him up. That restriction prompted the back-rower to seek out expert opinion and it has now been decided that a season-ending operation is needed.

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“Tom needs a clear out of his hip that will put him out for the rest of this season,” said Sanderson at his media briefing ahead of this Friday’s top of the Gallagher Premiership clash with Bath at the AJ Bell. “This is the only option.

“He has been back down to London to have further extensive x-rays under movement with a different consultant and this is the best thing for him in the short term. I know it sounds long-term, the season, but it’s not. He is still a young lad and it’s the best thing for him in the short-term to ensure he is able to be more robust moving forward to train and progress his game the way he wants to.

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“He has just got some wear and tear issues around his socket and a little bone that needs shaving off, cleaning up. My understanding is there is three procedures you can have on your hip of this nature: one is this, which is the least invasive. Then you can have a resurfacing, have a metal resurfacing, and then you can have a hip replacement, so this is the better of lesser evils I guess,” said Sanderson, adding that Curry will have the op “as early as possible so we are aiming for the week after next.

“The level it [the stiffness] was at in this point of time was new, hence why we have had to send him to specialists; it hadn’t flagged up to this degree until this point in his career. There has always been hip stiffness there… there has always been an element of managing his load because he will just empty the tank and drink deep for the well and this time he was doing the same thing but just not recovering and wasn’t able to do it again and again. The red flags were out that maybe there was something deeper here and apparently there is.”

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The operation will be the latest setback in a difficult year for Curry where he missed the entire 2023 Six Nations and Summer Nations series through different injuries and he was then suspended after a red-carded tackle in the opening match at the World Cup.

How has he reacted to the news that his 2023/24 season is now essentially over? “I was more upset than he was,” reckoned Sanderson. “He had reframed himself, was like, ‘Okay, this is fine’… I literally see it as a bump in the road for him. He was extremely positive.

“I’m sure there will be ebbs and flows over the next four or five months and I hope to be part of that journey with him as we get him back to where he needs to be. There was no chink in the invincible armour that is Tom Curry, it was like, ‘Right, let’s get it done. Let’s go’.

“I was surprised how quickly he turned himself around. It’s not old news for him now, he has had at least a week to get to grips with what could happen and this is by no means the worst that could happen and he is very positive about getting back and getting back in a Sale shirt. Hopefully towards the back end of this season but if not, he will be good to go next.”

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Beaten league finalists last season, Sale currently top the table after five wins in their opening six matches. Curry played no part in that progress but will his absence affect the club’s title challenge and will they need to dip into the market to find a replacement?

“Tom Curry’s influence on a game is huge, not just on a weekend but how he drives standards in the week every week… Tom will be around. He wants to help, he wants to contribute in a similar fashion that George did when he was injured and improve his communication skills and understand how he can contribute without doing it through his actions on the grass.

“We are leaning into the possibility of whether we need cover, we have still got a lot of strength there. We do still have a couple of injuries in JL (du Preez), who is going to come back in the next few weeks, and Tom Ellis, so if we are looking at someone at the moment we are thinking it would be for short-term because we are two injuries away from playing academy players.

“That’s unfair to them so we are just looking at how we are tracking at the moment, seeing what is out there. We won’t be able to get a replacement for Tom because there is no one like him but someone who can help us rotate and manage the load over the next six weeks because I reckon then you can fire into the end of January and after that mid-season break, you have got 12 games left, six by way of knockout.

“That is home straight, so it would really be in the short term between now and the end of January if we needed someone and we weren’t tracking so well over the next week or two.”

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Comments

4 Comments
J
JJGhost 207 days ago

still drying his eyes at being called a kant

P
Pete 208 days ago

Tom who?……………..England, is that the team that plays that game “let’s see how many times we can kick possession away in 80 minutes”. I would swallow a dead rat before I would watch….

A
Adam 208 days ago

Zoom on

C
Christo 208 days ago

maybe a little karma here? He probably needs surgery to fix his problem with making false allegations as well, but that might be more complex to fix…..

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