WORCESTER Warriors winger Marcel Garvey is facing the prospect of missing the entire season as mystery continues to surround his hip injury.
A refreshed and refocused Warriors return to the Guinness Premiership on Friday night with a trip to Stockport to take on the Sale Sharks following a much-needed fixture break last weekend.
Mike Ruddock’s squad is slowly starting to look less like the patched-up, inexperienced Warriors that have been forced to take to the field in recent weeks as the busy Sixways treatment room begins to empty.
The director of rugby has seen Dale Rasmussen, Kai Horstmann, Will Bowley and Miles Benjamin return to training after the quartet were sidelined with knee, thumb and shoulder injuries respectively.
However Garvey appears to remain firmly locked in the treatment room after Ruddock admitted that a return to action before the end of the season would be the ‘best case scenario’ for the former Gloucester player.
Garvey, whose hugely impressive form and nine tries last season took him to the cusp of an England Saxons call-up, hasn’t played since the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham in August.
Since then the 25-year-old former England Under-21 international’s troublesome hip has caused him to remain on crutches and there has even been suggestions that the ‘blood flow’ problem could be career-threatened.
It certainly seems likely that Garvey won’t be spotted in a Worcester kit at any point during the current campaign as surgery remains an option.
“Marcel Garvey is still out and that’s on-going although we are hoping that there’s a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel,” said Ruddock while attempting to put a positive spin on the bleak situation.
“He’s had blood flow difficultly to his hip, the initial prognosis was to make sure that he took weight off the hip so we put him on crutches. We were hoping that that would promote blood flow, it hasn’t really happened and there’s a possibility that he will be asked to take some medication to help that.
“The worst case scenario would be that he has to have an operation to drill the hip to promote blood flow, that’s the last thing on the check list and hopefully it won’t come to that. We will start to see some improvement in that condition over the coming weeks, it’s a serious condition and we have to make sure that we manage it properly and give him every chance to recover properly and not force him, at this stage it’s important we get it right.
“Best case scenario we will see him towards the end of the season, worst case we will see him next season but hopefully now that we’ve seen a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the next stages of treatment, even if it is something that he has to do like take some medication to help the blood flow then we know that’s just around the corner. Hopefully we will see an improvement because of that.
“It’s frustrating for him, for every player, especially after they’ve had a good pre-season, they just want to get out and play. It is tough, Marcel’s fellow professionals have been very supportive around the club, he’s in daily and he’s a good young man with a young family so he’s concerned and he wants to get it right. We are going to give him every effort to get it right and not pressurise him.”
Flanker James Collins remains sidelined with a quad injury as does fellow back-row Tom Wood, who recently underwent a successful operation on his shoulder.
Meanwhile, Ruddock has received some good news regarding summer signing, Wales international Hal Luscombe. The centre has yet to play for Worcester but looks close to overcoming the knee injury that has jeopardised his early career at Sixways and is back running in training. “The break has been good in terms of injuries,” Ruddock said. “It’s given us the chance to take a lot of the guys who have played a lot games recently out of the front line.”