SCOTLAND full-back Stuart Hogg is still hopeful of being involved in the autumn Test series as he waits for a plaster cast to be removed from his arm.
The 21-year-old suffered his first broken bone playing for Glasgow against Ulster on his competitive return to action following the summer’s British and Irish Lions tour.
Despite playing through it the following week against Leinster, believing it to be a minor injury, he eventually had it diagnosed and opted to undergo surgery to speed up the recovery process.
He was told it could keep him out of action for as many as six weeks, taking him into the middle of November and effectively out of the running to face Japan, South Africa and Australia.
Ironically, he was speaking yesterday at the SRU’s launch of new autumn Test sponsor viagogo, and insisted that featuring in them remains a target.
“I had a pin put in it two weeks ago and I’m chomping at the bit to get back now,” he said. “But nobody has got any idea [how long recovery will take] until the cast comes off. Hopefully, that’s going to be next Wednesday.
“I’ve got scans to see how it’s going and that will determine the whereabouts of the injury and what the next stage is. Next Wednesday I’ll see the specialist and he’ll give me a rough guide of what I am able to do and what I’m not able to do, and we’ve got very capable physios and doctors at Glasgow and with Scotland, who will help me get back fit and hopefully get some part of the autumn Tests.
“I’ve no idea yet really but I’ve heard of people having this injury and still having problems with it after they’re retired, so I want to get it right and not rush back. But you know me, if there’s any chance of getting back [for the autumn Tests] I’ll work as hard as I can to get back.”
He has not had to look far for advice as his coach at Glasgow, Gregor Townsend, suffered a similar injury that was to stay with him through his career, and Hogg acknowledged that he would rather miss the autumn Tests if it meant his wrist would be perfect for the rest of his.
“It would be disappointing to miss the autumn Tests,” he said, “but every game at this stage you’re annoyed at missing. Injuries are part and parcel of rugby and you’re going to pick up injuries during your career, so it’s being able to manage it, suck it up and get on with it.
“You also have to look on an injury as a positive, a chance to work elsewhere, so I’ve done a lot of leg weights, speed work and goal-kicking, so hopefully the Leinster game is behind me now.”
He endorsed his Glasgow teammate Sean Maitland, who is currently holding down the no15 jersey, with Peter Murchie also ruled out by injury, but for six months, but added: “He’s been doing well and he’s more than capable of stepping in at 15, for Glasgow and Scotland as well, though hopefully not.
“He has a good kicking game, good running game and he knows the game of rugby, so my first plan of action will be to try and knock him out of the 15 jersey.”