Gilchrist in race to make the opening Autumn Test

Grant Gilchrist. Picture Ian Rutherford
Grant Gilchrist. Picture Ian Rutherford
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SCOTLAND rugby captain Grant Gilchrist will be out of action for the next four to six weeks after undergoing ankle surgery on Thursday, leaving the 24-year-old in a race against time to be match fit for the start of the national team’s Autumn Test series, which kicks off against Argentina on 8 November.

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons says he is hoping to see the big second-row back in
action by the time his team visit Ulster in early October, so there is time for Gilchrist to get back up to full pace for the Scotland encounter against the Pumas at BT Murrayfield a month later – but it is far from an ideal start to the season for the man who skippered his country to victory the last time they faced the South Americans in Cordoba just over two months ago.

“The operation on Thursday was successful. They cleaned all the gristle out from his ankle and the joint is structurally sound, so the prediction is four to six weeks,” said Solomons yesterday. “I think by the time we hit our fourth game, apart from Matt [Scott] and Dents [David Denton], everyone else [of our frontline players] will be back – but you never can tell.”

Solomons added that he doesn’t envisage Denton being fit to play until the three-match series against Argentina, New Zealand or Tonga is already under way, and warned that the nature of the hamstring injury means that the lay-off could keep him out until the new near.

“If you tear a hammy then you won’t get away with less than three months,” he said..’

The Edinburgh coach also confirmed that it is all but certain that Scott will miss the Autumn Test schedule after undergoing shoulder surgery which should side-line him until December.

“Matt has just come out of the sling but we’ve got to be careful in how we judge it, but it will probably be December,” he said.