Lee Blackett has given an update on injured pair Zach Kibirige and Alfie Barbeary, admitting that Wasps expect to be without them for the next while as they continue the twin-pronged campaign in the Gallagher Premiership and European Champions Cup.  

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Kibirige was stretchered off at the AJ Bell Stadium with a horror head injury with twelve minutes remaining in the Premiership win over Sale, while Barbeary departed earlier in the same game with a syndesmosis that could yet require surgery depending on what prognosis a specialist gives to the young Wasps forward on Wednesday. 

“Alfie has got a syndesmosis injury. He will see the specialist Wednesday so we will know more from then,” said Blackett at his weekly media conference on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s visit to the Ricoh by Exeter, the side that defeated Wasps in last October’s Premiership final at Twickenham. “Whenever you hear that (ankle) injury it’s not the greatest but it’s not out and out disaster. 

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“Zach is recovering pretty well considering how big a head blow (it was). We wouldn’t even dare consider him for this week. We’re just going to have to see how he goes and monitor him for the next few weeks.

“He was on the bed for a fair bit. I spoke to him 15, 20 minutes after the incident. He was still on the bed then but by the time I came down from doing media he was walking around the changing rooms pretending he was alright. With any of this, especially with what is going on at the moment, it is really important we do the right thing for Zach in this instance and we won’t be rushing him back whatsoever.”

Returning to Barbeary, the hooker who has been starring in recent weeks at back row, Blackett added that he had no qualms with how the youngster sustained the injury at the breakdown in Sale, adding that the setback will at least open the door for someone else to hopefully impress in the coming months.  

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“It’s a rugby incident. I have got no issues. Unfortunately, it just happens,” he said before switching to the potential severity of the injury. “It’s hard to know because there are still question marks here in terms of will he need surgery. If he needs surgery it will be a fraction longer than that [six to eight weeks]. If he doesn’t you’re probably around the right point. It’s a guessing game here until he sees a specialist which he is due to do Wednesday. We will know a lot more Wednesday night what is happening.

“Like any player, he will be frustrated. I have been really pleased with Alfie recently. He has got better and better. He has had big impacts in terms of the game. Disappointing for Alfie but what we have got to do – and I spoke to him this morning [Tuesday] – is he has got to make sure he comes back a better player when he comes back. 

“However long he is out for we just have to make sure he comes back better than he left us. It also opens up an opportunity for someone else to come in and do well. Tom Willis came on for him at the weekend. It will give Tom some more game time. Disappointing for Alfie but it will open the door for someone else.”

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