Darcy Graham: Surgery for Scotland winger who will be out for three to four months

Edinburgh head coach issues update on star man – ‘we will see him back to his best this season’

Darcy Graham will undergo surgery next week on the groin injury which dashed his hopes of playing in this year’s Guinness Six Nations.

Sean Everitt, his coach at Edinburgh, thinks he will be out for three to four months, and while he has not ruled out the winger playing again this season, it will depend on how quickly he recovers and how far Edinburgh progress in the league and cup. The United Rugby Championship play-offs are scheduled to begin on June 7, with the final slated for June 22. The European Challenge Cup final is on May 24.

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“Darcy has seen a surgeon and he is going to be out long term with a groin injury,” confirmed Everitt. “So we’re hoping that he’ll be back in at the tail end of the season, but there’s nothing definite. He’ll be having the operation next week. It’s a three to four month injury.”

Darcy Graham has not played since the EPCR Challenge Cup match between Edinburgh Rugby and Gloucester at the Hive Stadium, on January 13, 2024. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)Darcy Graham has not played since the EPCR Challenge Cup match between Edinburgh Rugby and Gloucester at the Hive Stadium, on January 13, 2024. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Darcy Graham has not played since the EPCR Challenge Cup match between Edinburgh Rugby and Gloucester at the Hive Stadium, on January 13, 2024. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

Having missed the first two matches of the Six Nations with a quad issue, the 39-times capped Graham had hoped to be fit for the Calcutta Cup only to suffer the groin injury. Everitt dismissed the suggestion that the player was pushing too hard to get back for the Six Nations after a run of bad luck with various ailments.

“I wouldn’t say it was that,” said the coach. “It is just that he is a competitive human being so when he is out on the field, he gives everything that he can. And how you see him play on a Saturday is how he trains during the week.

“They have been different injuries. When he came out of the World Cup he had to have an object removed from his knee. It is just unfortunate for him that it has been a string of injuries in a row, and sometimes players go through that. Fortunately for Darcy, these injuries are reparable and we will see him back to his best this season.”

“It will be frustrating for Darcy,” added Everitt. “We know that he’s proud of the club he plays for and he loves having the opportunity to play for his country. When he went down with that injury last week he was really training well and looking forward to being in contention against England so one can imagine the disappointment that he’s going through at the moment. But we’re also aware that in the game we’re in, these things happen, it's the nature of the sport. He accepts what needs to be done and he’ll be very relieved when he’s back to full fitness and doesn’t have to carry these niggles with him throughout the season.”

Graham, 26, has had a wretched time over the last 15 months. He was in the form of his life when knee ligament damage sustained in a match against Munster caused him to miss last year’s Six Nations and he then tore a thigh muscle ahead of the Rugby World Cup. He was able to play in the tournament in France after visits to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber but suffered a hip injury in Scotland’s final pool match against Ireland. He missed the start of this season and during the lay-off took the opportunity to have a screw removed from his knee, a legacy of the earlier injury which had left him in constant pain.

He returned to the Edinburgh team just before Christmas and played four matches but then suffered the quad injury which ruled him out of the games against Wales and France. He was on course to be available for the round three match with England before suffering the groin issue in training. Everitt does not see any pattern in the injuries and believes Graham has simply been a victim of cruel fate.

“He is an explosive athlete, as we all know, and he’s got good feet, so he is at risk of getting injuries,” said the coach. “I think it is bad luck. I have coached many players in the past who are just injury prone and sometimes it just goes away after a period of time.

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“I just feel it is important that at this stage in his career that he gets time to sort out the niggles he has been carrying over a period of time. We all know the pressures of the World Cup, the pressure that was on to play in that tournament and get the best possible result, but there is an opportunity now for Darcy to use this time to get better, and if need be take the rest of this season plus the pre-season to build himself up in to top form.

“Darcy is 26 years old, we’ve signed him long term at the club, we all know that he is world class when he is on top of his game, so it is vitally important for him as an individual that we look after is wellbeing other than the physical side of his performance. A player who is in a good state of mind and injury free is a player who is going to perform week in and week out.”



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