The Chiefs new signing Mitchell Karpik has been ruled out for the Super Rugby season after injuring his knee in last week’s Super Rugby warm up trial match against the Waratahs in Rotorua.
The 20-year-old openside flanker ruptured the ACL in his left knee in contact and will have to undergo surgery.
The expected recovery time is 6-9 months, ruling Karpik out of the 2016 Super Rugby season.
“I’m obviously really disappointed as I was really looking forward to playing for the Chiefs this year.”
“I’m choosing to see it as a bump in the road and will take the opportunity to mature my body and get ready for what will hopefully be a long career ahead of me. I’ll also have a bit more time to put towards my university studies and I will of course continue to support the team from the side lines” said Karpik.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie said: “Mitch is an outstanding young man and we’re bitterly disappointed for him. His debut in the Chiefs jersey in Friday’s game was impressive and further reinforced the hugely promising future he has ahead of him. ”
“He has a great deal of maturity and an excellent work ethic which will serve him well as he overcomes his knee injury. We will certainly miss him in a training and playing capacity this season but we’re pleased he’ll still be very much a part of the team as he undergoes his rehabilitation under the expert guidance of our medical team.”
The injury is a further blow for the Chiefs who have already lost former Crusaders Nepo Laulala (knee, season) and Dominic Bird (foot, seven weeks).
In the short term Maama Vaipulutook a knock to his shoulder during Friday’s preseason trial but he is likely to be available for selection for Friday’s preseason trial against the Blues at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe.