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Wasps deliver 'not as bad as feared' update on injured Minozzi

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Wasps boss Lee Blackett has expressed relief that the serious-looking injury suffered by Matteo Minozzi in the opening minutes of last Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership loss at Gloucester isn’t as bad as was initially feared.

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The Italian international lasted just six minutes of the 27-21 defeat at Kingsholm and the length of treatment he had on the field before exiting suggested a considerable spell on the sidelines was likely.

Minozzi has had an injury-hit time at Wasps, making just four appearances last term and twelve the year before, and director of rugby Blackett initially feared this latest problem would also cut deep into his availability for the 2022/23 campaign.

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However, that won’t now be the case as the full-back should be back in harness by the middle of November at the latest. “Matteo is a hamstring and it’s not as bad as feared,” reported Blackett at his media briefing ahead of this Saturday’s round two game at home to Bristol. “We will probably know more in the next week or so but at the moment the estimate is between six and eight weeks.

“You’d probably take this (length of period out) considering where I thought he’d be. I am gutted for him. He had been training really well. It was a tough selection that 15 jersey last week, it was one of the ones we took a while over and the form he had shown in the two (pre-season) games probably just had him just starting this one (ahead of Ali Crossdale).

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“I thought Ali had really good (pre-season) games as well. It was one of those positions where we planned on playing Matteo last week and looking at Ali playing in the next couple of games to give him an opportunity. Both of them have been the best by far I have seen them in training in my time here.”

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The other major Wasps injury concern stemming from last Sunday was ex-England international Brad Shields, who exited the action just before the interval at Gloucester. “Brad is a fractured thumb. It is going to be in a cast, the likelihood is for about six weeks but I would expect him to be playing within the next week or two after that.”

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