Vickerman goes under knife
Sydney - Dan Vickerman has had more surgery in a last-ditch attempt to resurrect his playing career.
The Waratahs second-rower had a rod removed from his right shin on Wednesday and appeared at the squad's captain's run on Thursday in plain clothes, walking with the help of crutches.
The Waratahs and the Australian Rugby Union refuse to speculate on the future of the 32-year-old's career until further consultations with their respective medical teams, but it is understood that a prolonged battle with the leg injury - sustained before his return to Australia from England - has driven Vickerman to contemplate retirement.
The rod was inserted into his tibia in 2010 in an effort to relieve stress on the bone. It allowed him to play for the Wallabies in last year's Rugby World Cup. But the stress fracture in his shin has continued to cause him considerable pain. It is hoped the rod's removal will help.
Vickerman, who returned to the Waratahs last year after completing a land economy degree at Cambridge University, has also had his shoulder reconstructed.
The Waratahs said last month he was making ''good progress'' following the reconstruction and was on track for a return to the squad's starting line-up by April.
The shoulder problem forced Vickerman to return home early from the World Cup. He was brought back to Australia in May by the ARU on a contract running until the end of 2013. He was immediately drafted into the Waratahs for the final round of last year's Super Rugby season and then named in the Wallabies squad.
Vickerman was seen speaking with Wallabies coach Robbie Deans, who observed the Waratahs during their captain's run.
The Waratahs play the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday in Round 2 of this year's Super Rugby season.