SYDNEY Feb 6 Argentina scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli faces up to six months on the sidelines after rupturing a patellar tendon in his knee during a pre-season match for the ACT Brumbies Super Rugby team last weekend.
Cubelli, who played 13 tests for the Pumas last season, will require surgery after suffering the injury in the 37th minute of the Brumbies' warm-up loss to the New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday.
"The rupture was confirmed by a specialist in Sydney this morning," the Brumbies said in a news release on Monday.
"Cubelli will undergo surgery tomorrow and will begin his rehabilitation with the Brumbies thereafter."
The 27-year-old halfback, who has played 58 times for his country, was an integral member of the Brumbies team that won the Australian conference to reach the Super Rugby playoffs last year.
His extended absence will offer plenty of game-time for 22-year-old Joe Powell, a former carpenter who won a surprise call-up to the Wallabies squad last year. Uncapped teenager Ryan Lonergan is the other scrumhalf in the squad.
The Brumbies travel to Christchurch to play New Zealand's Canterbury Crusaders in their Super Rugby season-opener on Feb. 25. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Peter Rutherford)