Highlanders wing out with broken leg
Wellington - Defending Super Rugby
champions the Highlanders suffered a double blow on Tuesday with confirmation
international backline stars Waisake Naholo and Fumiaki Tanaka both face
extended periods out injured.
The Dunedin-based club said All Blacks wing
Naholo fractured his leg in the 33-31 opening round loss to the Blues on Friday
and would be side-lined for six to eight weeks.
It added that Tanaka, half-back with the
Japan national side, injured his calf at training, putting him out for four
Team doctor Greg Macleod said Naholo had
suffered a new fracture in the same leg that he injured before last year's
Rugby World Cup.
"While this is very unfortunate for
Waisake, the positive news is that this injury is not as bad as his last
fracture," he said.
The previous break was initially expected
to rule Naholo out of the World Cup but he returned to his birthplace Fiji and
sought out a traditional healer.
The unorthodox treatment, comprising an application
made from a special leaf applied to the leg, appeared to work and Naholo was
part of the squad that won the trophy at Twickenham.
The Highlanders said the winger would not
be going to Fiji for another dose of traditional medicine and Macleod would
oversee his recovery.
Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph was
philosophical about the injuries.
"To lose players for an extended
period is always disappointing but you have to expect injuries to occur at some
point," he said.
"As a group we simply deal with it and
The Highlanders face the Wellington
Hurricanes on Saturday in a repeat of last year's title decider.