Blues

Tuipulotu out of Super Rugby and World Cup

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Blues and All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu has been ruled out for the rest
of the Rugby season as he has opted to have surgery.

Tuipulotu has decided to have surgery on a developmental defect with his hips
that will rule him out of rugby for the rest of the year.

Treatment for a recent groin injury for the 22 year old Blues player highlighted
a defect with his hips which has previously not been detected.

After further treatment and testing, he and the medical team at the Blues,
in consultation with New Zealand Rugby, decided to push ahead with surgery on
both hips.

“All options were carefully considered including on-going treatment for Patrick
but surgery is the best decision for the long term career in such a young player,”
Doctor Stephen Kara said on the Blues site.

The initial surgery on one hip will take place this week and the other hip
will be operated on in six weeks.

Tuipulotu decided the best option is to undergo surgery now so he can make
a full recovery in preparation for next year’s Investec Super Rugby season.

“I am naturally gutted that this takes me out of consideration for the All
Blacks season and the Rugby World Cup, but this is the best thing to do long
term,” Tuipulotu said.

“I am only 22 and I could be around for two more World Cups. The best thing
for me and my well-being is to have this surgery now which gives me the time
I need to rehab properly and come back stronger, fitter and better.”

Tuipulotu is among a long list of injured players at the Blues, which now totals
12 players.

Joining the high profile longer term injuries is All Black prop Charlie Faumuina
who will not be available for the Blues’ two remaining Super Rugby matches.
He is suffering from a neck strain with further testing required before finalising
a treatment plan.

His All Black teammate Tony Woodcock will also miss the final two games, with
his shoulder injury on the mend but not in time for the final match on 12 June,
leaving him on 149 Super Rugby caps..

Meanwhile Charles Piutau is hopeful he will also be available for selection
for the match against the Highlanders.

There are currently 12 Blues players on the injured list comprising Jerome
Kaino, Steven Luatua, Faumuina, Woodcock, Tuipulotu, Charles Piutau, Pita Ahki,
Dan Bowden, Luke Braid, Bryn Hall, Angus Ta’avao and Lolagi Visinia. Added to
this are three players ‘ Tevita Li, Blake Gibson and Akira Ioane ‘ at the Junior
World Cup.

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan said while the team has been decimated by collision
injuries in recent weeks, it offers the opportunity to give experience to several
young players likely to be considered for selection for Saturday’s penultimate
match against the Crusaders at Eden Park.

Replacements called in to the Blues squad include Nic Mayhew (North Harbour),
who made his debut against the Hurricanes, Chris Vui (North Harbour), Sione
Mafileo (North Harbour), Matt McGahan (North Harbour), Jack Ram (Northland),
Scott Scrafton (Auckland) and Gerard Tuioti-Mariner (North Harbour).

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