Sydney - Pat McCabe has paid a heavy price for his Rugby World Cup bravery after
having a shoulder reconstruction that is expected to keep him on the
sideline for six months.
The versatile back had surgery on his right shoulder in
Sydney on Tuesday, and will miss at least the first month of the
Brumbies' Super Rugby campaign next year. He will also miss the
Wallabies' end-of-season trip to play the Barbarians and Wales next
month. But he vowed to do everything in his power to return to the field
earlier than expected for the Brumbies' first season under new coach
McCabe arrived back in Australia at the weekend after the
Wallabies finished third at the World Cup. His long recovery is a cruel
blow after he was elevated into the Wallabies' starting XV this year
and made the inside-centre spot his own.
The Brumbies begin their season against the Force
on February 24, but McCabe isn't expecting to be available for
selection until late March or early April.
''I wanted to have the surgery as early as possible,
because it's a six-month recovery and I wanted to miss as few games as
possible for the Brumbies,'' McCabe said. ''It's obviously pretty
frustrating but it's something I have to get right. I have to look at it
as an opportunity to improve my skills and physical attributes for when
I can play again in March.
''This year has been long, and it has taken its toll
physically and mentally so, hopefully, I'll come back fully recharged
and ready to go for the Brumbies.''