Johannesburg - Robbie Deans expects flyhalf Quade Cooper to be fit for Australia's end-of-season tour to Europe but the coach will still have to make changes to his playing personnel to cope with a long injury list and a demanding season.
Deans said on Friday in South Africa that Cooper's surgery on loose cartilage in his knee had been delayed for a few days but he should be able travel in November "so long as he gets in and gets the operation done soon."
Deans said the delay was precautionary while some "grazes" on Cooper's problematic right knee, which he injured at last year's World Cup, healed.
Cooper's recovery from the surgery is expected to take four to six weeks, and the delay threatens his availability for the tour starting on Nov. 10 against France.
But Deans also said other injuries to regular starters meant the Wallabies were "going to have to function with a squad as opposed to a 15."