Why Beauden Barrett is ‘lucky’ injury didn’t end Rugby World Cup dream
But in his own words, Barrett admitted he’s “lucky” it wasn’t any worse.
A cut to the heel could’ve ended the 32-year-old’s Rugby World Cup campaign months before it started.
Last month, Barrett limped off the sacred turf at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, and disappeared down the tunnel – but the extent of his injury was unknown at the time.
Barrett eventually returned to the sidelines with a smile on his face, and watched on as the Blues recorded a convincing 26-45 win over the Reds.
But the prognosis was anything but tame.
It was later confirmed that Barrett had sustained a serious cut to his heel, which ended up ruling the star playmaker out of the Blues’ final two regular season fixtures.
“It hasn’t been frustrating, the expectations had been clear early on that it could take some time to heal,” Barrett told reporters.
“It was a deep cut, it’s got a fair amount of stiches in there.
“The concern was to push the range and pop the stiches, if my eagerness took over, but I was pretty patient and trusted what the docs were saying.
“So here I am, I’m available for the quarter-finals.”
But the Rugby World Cup winner is back – and what a time to return.
The Blues are preparing to host the NSW Waratahs in a blockbuster quarter-final on Saturday, and Barrett is set to lead the Aucklanders around the park from flyhalf.
But had things gone a little bit differently in Brisbane, Barrett might not have returned for the Blues at all in 2023 – or the All Blacks for that matter.
While explaining how “lucky” he was, Barrett said the injury “could’ve” ended the All Blacks’ rugby year.
“It was a sprig straight across my Achilles,” he added. “It did everything but get the tendon.
“It was a good gash – I must have been pretty lucky for it not to nick the tendon.
“I am fresh and I’ve got a spring in my step, it’s quarter-final week, everything’s on the line, the sun’s out (and) the guys are pretty excited.”
The Blues will host the Waratahs at Auckland’s Eden Park at 7.35pm NZST on Friday night.
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