MELBOURNE // Australia's Pat McCabe has been ruled out for the rest of the year after suffering another fracture in his neck, though it is too early to determine whether it could threaten his career, the Australian Rugby Union said on Wednesday.
The inside centre was taken off during the Wallabies' 23-21 first Test loss to the British & Irish Lions this past Saturday at Brisbane, and ruled out of the rest of the series.
Medical checks on Tuesday showed McCabe, 25, had sustained a recurrence of a fracture of a bone in his neck that originally happened in November against France on Australia's northern hemisphere tour.
The injury means he will miss the remainder of the Super Rugby season with ACT Brumbies, Australia's Rugby Championship campaign against South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina and their end-of-season tour to Europe.
"It's unfortunate that having completed the healing process from last year's injury, that it has happened again," said Warren McDonald, the Wallabies doctor.
"The fracture that has partially opened up is expected to repair itself and strengthen."
McCabe said: "It was encouraging to hear the specialists being positive both about the recovery process but also the possibility that I could be able to return to the playing field."
He will spend at least six weeks wearing a neck brace.
MITCHELL EARNS ONE-MATCH SUSPENSION
Lachlan Mitchellís careless tackle on the British & Irish Lionsí Simon Zebo has led to a one-match suspension.
The Australian was cited for the tackle in which he lifted the Ireland winger off the ground, in the 52nd minute of the Lionsí 35-0 victory on Tuesday.
Mitchell will miss a Super Rugby match for Melbourne Rebels.
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