Edinburgh’s Du Preez likely to miss rest of season

EDINBURGH are destined to be without the services of influential back-rower Cornell du Preez for several months after the 23-year-old underwent surgery on ankle injury sustained during Saturday’s Guinness Pro12 victory over the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Edinburgh's Cornell Du Preez receives oxygen after picking up an injury. Picture: SNS

Edinburgh were not prepared to comment on the precise nature of the injury last night, but head coach Alan Solomons has already said that he fears the player may be out for the remainder of the campaign.

“It is very serious. He was in agony. That could be his season,” the coach said after Saturday’s match.

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A statement issued by the club yesterday lunchtime stated: “Cornell and all at Edinburgh Rugby convey our heartfelt thanks to the paramedics from the Scottish Ambulance Service who attended to him on the pitch, to the orthopaedic department, trauma consultants and staff at the Royal Infirmary for their expertise and care during his stay, and to the many supporters for their goodwill messages.

“Now back in the care of the Edinburgh Rugby medical team, Cornell’s progress will be monitored over the next few weeks to enable a timeline for recovery to be put together.”

Du Preez has been an ever-present in Edinburgh’s starting XV this year, and his absence is compounded by the fact that Dave Denton is not due back from a hamstring injury which has kept him sidelined since the start of August for another two weeks at least.

That leaves the capital outfit desperately short of a physical ball-carrying presence in the back row for their trip to the south west of France to take on Bordeaux Begles in the European Challenge Cup on Friday night.

Meanwhile, Ulster lock Alan O’Connor has been cited for an alleged choke tackle on Glasgow Warriors centre Mark Bennett in last Saturday’s match in Belfast. Bennett was left unconscious after the incident and required treatment before being stretchered from the field.

O’Connor will appear before an independent panel this week to answer two charges pertaining to Law 10.4(e), which covers dangerous tackling, and Law 10.4(m), which relates to acts contrary to good sportsmanship. Bennett made a full recovery after leaving the field but his departure shocked the Warriors, who lost two quick tries to Craig Gilroy and Tommy Bowe shortly after the incident. They eventually lost the match 29-9.

“It’s not good to lose a player but we’re really glad he has recovered. We have to make sure that the laws are applied and that tackles are below the shoulders,” said Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend afterwards.