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Worcester issue update after third serious injury for Melani Nanai

By Chris Jones
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Worcester full-back Melani Nanai is set to be ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a serious knee ligament injury that will see the full-back undergo the third operation in his time with the club. Warriors head coach Jonathan Thomas has revealed that scans of the knee have shown substantial damage to the ACL and his player will require an operation that ends his season and removes a key attacking weapon from the team’s armoury. 

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Nanai was injured in his first game back for the club after just eight minutes as a replacement in the post-Christmas 61-29 loss to Saracens. A year ago Nanai spent a lengthy period on the sidelines after tearing his hamstring in training and the knee injury has now become the third major setback for Nanai who joined the club from the Blues Super Rugby team in New Zealand but sustained a shoulder injury in February 2020 which also needed surgery.

Nanai has also been hit by disciplinary bans during his time with the English club to further restrict his appearances and Thomas, who takes Worcester to winless Bath on Sunday, said: “Melani is someone you have to feel for because he has had a number of challenges and injuries and we put him on at half-time (against Saracens) in his first game back.

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“It looks like an ACL which will probably rule him out for the season. The hardest thing as a professional sportsman is dealing with injuries. We are waiting for updates in terms of timeline and how it looks and the indications are that it is a serious injury.”

There was some good news for Thomas, though, regarding British and Irish Lions loosehead prop Rory Sutherland as he is fit to return as Warriors attempt to win their first away game at the 18th attempt after 16 defeats and a draw. 

Thomas added: “Rory on the field is a Lion but he also brings a lot of energy and is a real talisman for us. He has had injury issues himself and would have wanted to play more matches for us in his first season. He will add real value to the team.”

 

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