Last year ended on the sourest of notes for Worcester Warriors following the discovery that they will be without influential centre Sam Tuitupou for the remainder of the season.
The dynamic New Zealander ruptured his right anterior cruciate ligament during last Saturday’s draw at Newcastle Falcons.
Remarkably, Tuitupou played on for 70 minutes after suffering the injury at Kingston Park but he won’t be involved in action until at least the start of next season.
The loss of the talented 26-year-old, known affectionately as the Pocket Rocket, will come as a major blow for Worcester’s director of rugby Mike Ruddock who has had a torrid time with injuries this season.
Tuitupou will spend the first six weeks of his rehabilitation at Warriors before returning to New Zealand where he will work with his former club Auckland Blues’ physios and conditioners, a usual routine for the ex-All Black whenever he jets home.
“It’s a major blow for Sam Tuitupou and the team,” Ruddock said. “What’s amazing is that Sam was able to play on against Newcastle after such a trauma but that typifies the toughness of him as a player and the steel that will be missed during the period that he is out.
“However, Sam is already very determined to get the injury right before the medical timescale and we will give him the very best support possible during this time out.”
Ruddock is also trying to look on the bright side of his team’s latest devastating injury, saying: “Sam has played a lot of rugby over the last few years and so this unfortunate enforced period away from the game will give him the chance to work on his strength and conditioning in the gym.
“We now will get an even more powerful Sam back on the field for the start of next season.”