THE effects of Scotland’s opening RBS Six Nations defeat continued last night with winger Sean Maitland being ruled out for the rest of the tournament with knee and ankle injuries.
The New Zealander, who made his debut for Scotland a year ago and toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions, had regained form with Glasgow recently and was one of Scotland’s most threatening backs in the early stages of Sunday’s 28-6 loss to Ireland in Dublin.
However, challenging for a high ball in the 32nd minute at the Aviva Stadium, he clashed heads with Ireland winger Dave Kearney and landed awkwardly on his right leg.
Diagnosed with concussion on the pitch and immediately taken off, the 25-year-old former Crusaders player returned to Scotland in a wheelchair for more detailed assessment.
Scotland team doctor James Robson confirmed yesterday that the good news was that there were no broken bones nor seriously damaged ligaments, which had been the obvious concerns.
The bad news, however, was that Maitland would be out of action for about two months.
“Sean was examined by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Graham Lawson,” he explained. “He found that Sean has sustained some damage to the structures of his knee and ankle but, happily, does not require surgery.
“The expected recovery time for soft tissue damage of this sort is up to eight weeks. Sean is now beginning work on his rehabilitation in the care of the Glasgow Warriors medical team.”
While disappointing for Scotland, it is positive news for the Warriors as it means that Maitland could be back in harness for the last four, possibly five, matches of the regular league season, including key fixtures away to Munster and at home to Ulster, as Glasgow seek to secure a play-off spot.