Stuart Hogg’s back injury ‘not a concern’

Scotland's full back Stuart Hogg runs with the ball during the Wales and Scotland match at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Scotland's full back Stuart Hogg runs with the ball during the Wales and Scotland match at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

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Full-back Stuart Hogg should be fit and available to take his place in the Scotland starting XV to play Italy in Rome on 27 February, writes Iain Morrison.

He had to leave the field just before the half-hour mark in the Scots’ 27-23 loss to Wales in Cardiff on Saturday after not one but two big collisions.

“Full-back Stuart Hogg suffered a back strain in the first half that forced him off the field before the half-hour mark, but is not considered an immediate concern,” read a medical bulletin released by the SRU yesterday.

While Hogg’s replacement Ruaridh Jackson did well, the Hawick man is a key threat for Scotland and was badly missed. Despite only being on the field for 28 minutes and 35 seconds, Hogg still managed to top the charts in metres carried by the visiting players. His 50 metres was comfortably ahead of second-placed John Barclay, who managed 38. And it is not just what Hogg does with ball in hand. When he is on the field the full-back attracts defenders, opening up space for others. He scored a brilliant interception try against Italy three years ago and Scotland head coach Vern Cotter will be hoping the initial diagnosis on the player’s problematic back is correct.

Richie Gray and Tommy Seymour both turned their ankles and were placed in protective boots. Gray has since discarded his but Seymour’s injury appears a little more serious.

Blair Cowan suffered a concussion and will return to London Irish for further assessment. Sean Maitland, whose thigh injury prevented him from taking the field against Wales, will also have further tests.

Cotter revealed that Grant Gilchrist and Peter Horne are close to comebacks while Josh Strauss came off the bench for Glasgow on Friday night following a head injury.

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