Wallabies winger Mitchell set for long injury layoff
(Reuters) - Injury-prone Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell faces a possible year out of rugby after rupturing an ankle tendon in Australia's 22-0 Bledisloe Cup mauling by New Zealand at the weekend.
Mitchell was making his first test start in 11 months in Auckland but is now sweating on his future after re-injuring the same tendon which sidelined him for much of 2011.
"I'm not too sure if I'll be lacing them up in the next 12 months or so," the Waratahs player told Australian media.
"The healing that needs to be done is pretty significant."
Mitchell recovered in time to make last year's World Cup, only for his participation in the tournament was cut short by a hamstring problem.
The 28-year-old played denied that he had come back to Wallabies side too quickly after playing just eight matches in the run-up to Saturday's Rugby Championship clash.
"When you damage a tendon like that or a muscle, the integrity of it is never back to where it was prior to the initial injury," Mitchell added.
"That's probably been the case now. People may argue or question whether I came back too early, but all the strength was there.
"All the tests and scans, everything indicated it was fine and I was back to feeling fine out there.
"Unfortunately the knock I got was enough to damage it further than it was before and rupture it entirely the way through."
The Wallabies, struggling with injuries to several key players, take on tournament new boys Argentina in their next game in Perth on September 8.
(Reporting by Alastair Himmer in Tokyo; Editing by John O'Brien)
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